Macclesfield’s win at Didsbury saw them hit top spot in the Premier Division with five games to go.
Didsbury skipper Anderson won the toss and elected to bat on what looked a decent track for batting.
Opening the bowling, Tait and Ward both bowled extremely tight spells for Macc. They restricted the run rate for long periods and built the pressure on the Didsbury batsmen.
With both unlucky not to find the breakthrough, it wasn’t until spin was introduced into the attack for Macc to claim the first wicket of the day, with Porter inducing a false stroke from Marfani.
The Macc bowlers kept the pressure on, offering few bad balls, and quick wickets then began to fall as Porter claimed three wickets and Tait with two.
A vital 100-run partnership for Didsbury was to follow, as South African Van Schackwyk made an impressive 60 by combining exciting attacking strokes with solid defence.
Didsbury finished on 186-6 from 55 overs after quick runs were added at the back end of their innings. This was a competitive total but both teams felt they had a good chance of victory at the halfway point.
After an early wicket fell, Keen and Sawas then consolidated, looking to provide a platform at the top of the order.
With the score on 50, the second wicket fell to spin, Keen trapped LBW on the back foot for 20.
Sawas continued to play fluently moving into the 30s before dragging an aerial drive for a comfortable catch at long-off .
After a shaky start, Crosthwaite began to look more comfortable and played some flowing shots, particularly against the spinners. After coming out of semi-retirement for the game, Parfett was unlucky to be given out caught at slip after the ball appeared to come off his boot.
The in-form Hodgson arrived at the crease and looked confident from the off, although Macc lost Crosthwaite for a well played innings.
Though he’d batted well the Aussie would have been disappointed to once again be dismissed in the 40s after looking well set.
As another couple of wickets fell, Didsbury were now looking like favourites to win.
However, Markie strode to the wicket and had clear intentions from the outset. His aggressive style was exactly what Macc needed if they were to grab an unlikely victory as the overs ticked down.
Markie played a sensational unbeaten knock of 35 to guide his team to victory, along with Melrose who made a quickfire 20 as they chased the total down with just two wickets and three balls remaining of their innings.
Their next outing sees them face Alderley Edge in an important derby at Victoria Road.
BOLLINGTON secured a much needed victory on Saturday in their crucial home fixture to promotion-chasing Grappenhall.
After winning the toss skipper Toby Ward asked the visitors to bat, but former Lancashire batsmen Richard Green was looking in ominous form as he scored freely despite being dropped three times.
Mo Jahangir put in a marathon spell to claim two wickets for 73 runs from his 22 overs and Tom Horsfield bowled with pace and movement to claim 3-64.
Green top-scored with 113 from 205 as the visitors boldly declared on 207-7 in 47 overs.
With such a generous declaration Grappenhall clearly fancied their chances of bowling Bolly out easily, but this wasn’t to be as the Bolly batsmen showed the application required to chase down the total thanks to a sparkling 59 from Alex Sykes, 38 not out from Jahangir and 30 from Tom Barrass.
Bolly got home in the 50th over for the loss of six wickets.
It was a great performance that Bollington will hope is the catalyst for the run-in which starts this Saturday when Bolly head to fellow relegation candidates Heaton Mersey, who currently prop up the table..
POTT Shrigley moved up to third in Meller Braggins League Three following a fine performance at Stretton.
Having won the toss and elected to bat Shrigley’s openers put on 130 for the first wicket thanks to an excellent 94 from Warren Barlow and 56 for Jamie Hart.
The rest of the batting order pushed Shrigley on to a respectable 203-7 from their 45 overs.
In reply, Stretton got off to a flying start, moving to 60 off the first seven overs. However, tight bowling and regular wickets always kept Shrigley in the hunt with Stretton eventually bowled out for 195.
All of the bowling was good with Adam Davis taking four wickets.
LANGLEY again suffered the agony of having a team nine wickets down but failing to win the match against The Wirrall.
On a warm day, hosts Langley won the toss and batted first on a firm deck.
Openers Gay and Brown got them off to a fine start, adding 40 in nine overs before Gay (20) left alone a straight ball and was bowled.
Letven joined the much improved Brown and they kept up the good work, doubling the score until Letven (27) was also bowled.
The pattern of adding 40 continued until Brown was caught and bowled for 44, a fine effort from the youngster.
After Chris Pattison and skipper Stevens both departed for 11, Langley reached 158-5.
But Cook and Betteridge then hit out in style as the score reached 200 before Cook (57 off 34 balls) was run out and Betteridge (26 off 19 balls) was bowled.
Stevens then bravely declared with the score on 215-4 off just 40 overs, giving The Wirral 50 overs to chase down the runs.
The Wirral also got out to a fine start, adding 40 before both fell victims to fine catches by Ed Johnson at first slip as Berzins and Betteridge claimed a wicket apiece.
Lewis then smashed a quick 32 before he was bowled by Cook, to leave the game evenly poised as the Wirral reached 100-3 off 26 overs.
Letven then claimed two quick wickets to reduce them to 125-5 but Peel was batting solidly and reached his 50 with a fine cut off Frame. He fell to the next ball though, caught behind by keeper Gay as Langley took control.
Frame, Cook and Betteridge then took a wicket each as the Wirral faltered but a solid rearguard from the tail saw them hold on for a draw.
For Langley Letven 2-14, Frame 2-31, Betteridge 2-41, Cook 2-53 and Berzins 1-41 took the wickets.
IN THEIR Division One clash at Hale Barns, Prestbury batted first and declared on 177-5. In reply the hosts were dismissed well short of the target, being bowled out for 115.
IT WAS back to winning ways for Kerridge’s first team after a barren spell but, on the best Saturday for months, the seconds had no game as Bowdon Vale were unable to raise a team.
Winning the toss at Sandbach Kerridge decided to bat on a near-perfect wicket in ideal conditions and the move paid off with a 64-run opening partnership between captain Nathan Taylor (46) and promoted second XI skipper Adam Banks (13).
However it was Jimmy Knight who then took over with a superb 110 which enabled the visitors to declare on 251-9.
Gareth Davies with 36 also made a welcome return to runs.
When the home side batted it was MOM Jimmy Knight with 6-68 off 15 overs who did the damage, assisted by Ryan Taylor (2-8) Gareth Davies (1-42) and Josh Capper (1-4) while Whittaker (46) and keeper Stoneley with 36 and two catches, plus a stumping, starred in the home side’s 147.