CHECKLEY came out on top in a low-scoring battle of the newly-promoted North Staffs and South Cheshire Premier Division A sides.
On a cold blustery day at Cheadle’s Tean Road ground the day did not start as planned for Checkley when they a lost toss and were asked to bat on what looked a tricky wicket.
Their fears were confirmed when the first delivery of the game by James Sellers bowled Alvin Beardmore.
Tricky batting conditions prevented easy runs as the Checkley batsmen had to dig in to prevent a Cheadle wicket fest.
Nick Hunt’s knock of 28 was solitary resistance as the top order crumbled to 53-6 against a good seam attack.
A batting point looked unlikely until the arrival at the crease of Checkley veterans Gavin Carr and Richard Cooper for a crucial partnership of 50 runs, which pushed the score to an unlikely 119 all out in the 50th over.
In reply, Cheadle lost the early wicket of Darren Plant with the score on 12, but recovery was provided by the experienced pair of Shaun Jenkinson (41) and David Wheeldon (25).
Steady progress pushed the score to 63-1 and Cheadle seemed to be on course for a routine victory until the inspired change inspired bowling change of Nick Hunt and Jason Brown provided hard batting on a wicket influenced by spin bowling.
At this point, Cheadle’s innings collapsed with the loss of five wickets for just a single run, triggered triggered by an exceptional Brown catch to dismiss Cheadle professional Gary Parks.
At 79-8, Checkley sensed victory but James Sellers (21) provided a glimmer of hope for Cheadle, hitting two sixes off one over by Hunt.
Checkley’s skipper brought opener Rich Cooper to the attack and the change proved vital as the opening bowler dismissed both Sellers and Sutton in quick succession to leave the home side 11 runs short of the total.
The Four Trees side followed up on Sunday with a Staffordshire Cup win over Oulton.
Checkley won the toss and elected to bat posting a par total of 157 and they were never threatened as Oulton ended on 96-8 at the end of play.
CHECKLEY entertain reigning league champion’s Woodlane on Saturday, starting at 12.30pm.
THE club are holding a 1970s-themed disco at Four Trees on April 28, starting at 9pm. All are welcome.