It was a fine Saturday for ducks on the fifth weekend of action in the 2003 North Staffs and South Cheshire League, but Stone managed to dodge the weather to pick up a priceless win. CHRIS TRAVERS reports…
STONE captain Adrian Butters’ patience paid off as his side were the only winners on a weather-affected day in Championship Division One A.
Their trip to Norton looked like it would go the same way as the rest of the league programme – but Stone managed to get out on to the pitch after a lengthy delay to bank the points.
John James was on form with the ball after Butters had won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to bowl.
James picked up 5-33 in Norton’s total of 83 and Mo Hussain (43no) and Phil Cheadle (38no) wasted little time in knocking off the runs, needing less than nine overs to seal a 10-wicket win.
West Indian Andre Percival hit the highest score of the day, but Haslington couldn’t gain a win against Sneyd.
Percival’s unbeaten 83 and Dean Bedson’s 36 formed the basis of Haslington’s score of 169-6, Ali Raza taking 3-82.
Dave Capewell (3-23) helped to reduce Sneyd to 85-7, but the final three wickets were beyond Haslington’s reach.
Mohammed Ali was in good form with bat and ball in Leycett’s rain-affected game with Burslem.
Ali struck 49 in Leycett’s score of 119, Gareth Rigby picking up 5-19 for Burslem and then claimed 3-13 to help to reduce the home side to 57-5.
Skipper Richard Waterhouse hit 62 and Liam Hickey 52 as Stafford declared on 176-3 against Crewe.
The Cheshire side were struggling on 70-4 before the heavens opened to abandon play for the day.
Stafford top the table by three points from Stone, but relegated Knypersley are hot in pursuit in third place.
There was no play possible in the game between Rode Park and Kidsgrove, while Cheadle could only muster 22-1 against Knypersley.
Dave Palin made 44 and Rob Beech 31 to enable Elworth to reach 126-8 before declaring in their clash with Bignall End, Nigel Nixon claiming 4-19.
In reply, Bignall End lost two early wickets en route to scoring 32 before rain intervened for the day.
IN Premier A, inspired bowling from Gavin Carr went to waste as Checkley’s game against Moddershall was one of many in the top flight to perish because of the poor weather.
Carr picked up 6-36, but Moddershall were still able to declare on 180-9, Iain Carr hitting 43 and James Woolgar 36.
Checkley were just five balls into their reply before inclement weather put an end to proceedings.
Pacesetters Norton in Hales were involved in a rain-affected game against Audley.
Haran Dharamraja hit 42 as the Tractor Boys totalled 118 in 39 overs, Gary Latham claiming 6-53 and professional TP Singh grabbing 3-43.
Audley lost wickets cheaply in the run chase and were content to settle for a draw, finishing on 53-3.
The result means the champions are four points clear of Moddershall, with Audley showing early-season promise in third place.
Porthill Park stuttered to 33-2 against Leek, professional Imran Farhat making a breezy unbeaten 24 and Richard Cooper and Albie Morkel picking up a wicket apiece.
The weather was all the more frustrating as both sides occupy two of the bottom three spots in the division and have yet to record a victory between them so far this season.
There was little action elsewhere, Little Stoke facing just three overs before the weather intervened in their clash with Caverswall and Barlaston reaching 15-0 in their game with Longton.
IN Premier B, Longton were struggling on 35-3 at home against Barlaston when the elements had the final say.
Audley were 3-0 off the same number of overs at Norton in Hales before the players trudged off for the final time.
The rest of the matches in the division didn’t see a ball bowled.
IN Championship Division One B, Stone posted 135-3 in their home encounter with Norton.
James Dawson top-scored with an unbeaten 44, while Ian Sutton added 38. Norton were 14-0 in reply before play was abandoned.
Stafford were 12-0 against Crewe in the short passage of the play possible, but the rest of the division was wiped out.