SIX wickets from Steve Morgan did for Checkley as they suffered an 87-run defeat to Stone at Four Trees at the weekend.
Set a daunting 228 for victory, Checkley were reduced to 72-7 early in their reply, and although experienced duo Gavin Carr (33) and Richard Cooper (32) temporarily halted the Stone charge with an eighth wicket stand of 69, they lost their last three wickets without addition to the score as they were dismissed for 141.
Left-arm spinner Morgan, a winter signing from Cheadle, delivered a memorable debut with figures of 6-27, while Australian paceman Matthew Wicks was no less impressive en route to his return of 3-34.
Stone’s total had earlier been centred around David Womble’s 62, which came off 72 deliveries.
That came after two early wickets for Checkley’s Kyle Melis (2-40) had seen off Stone openers Luke Cheadle for a duck, and James Dawson for 21.
A third-wicket stand of 60 between Phillip Cheadle (33) and skipper Richard Harvey (44) saw the visitors to 93-3, before Andy Cooper (2-30) dismissed both to bring Womble to the crease.
Matthew Coxon did not last long before falling to Gavin Carr, but Womble and Russell Ballard (37no) powered their side on to 208-6.
In reply, Checkley got off to the worst possible start, losing both openers with only two runs on the board.
Amer Siddique faced 18 balls without scoring before falling to Matt Wicks, and he also accounted for Josh Cartledge, who did at least manage one solitary run (from 22 deliveries) before being bowled.
Morgan then took charge, and after Checkley captain Michael Allen (25) had steadied the ship at 37-3, he was also bowled, ending a decent partnership with the methodical Andy Carr (11 off 47 balls).
Mellis was out for a golden duck, with Morgan on for a hat-trick at that point.
That never transpired, but it was scant consolation for Checkley, whose wickets continued to tumble until Cooper and Gavin Car’s experience stopped the rot.
Both were steady, rather than swashbuckling, taking more than 150 balls to make 65 runs between them, but they moved the score along to 141-8 before Carr became Morgan’s fourth victim, caught by Cheadle.
And that was how the score stayed, with Cooper caught by Coxon off Wicks and Haslegrave lbw to the deadly Morgan.