Widnes were the visitors at Victoria Road on Saturday as the sun made a long overdue appearance.
After another week of rain, preliminary work was required on the ground to ensure a 12.30pm start.
Macc skipper Barney Cutbill won the toss and elected to make first use of a relatively dry pitch in comparison to recent weeks.
The Macc innings made a positive start as they reached 45-1 from the first 10 overs.
Rob Keen then fell for 30, offering a catch to the keeper, to bring James Crosthwaite to the crease to join the league’s leading run scorer Khalid Sawas.
With the introduction of spin into the attack, the pair progressed the score steadily until Sawas was caught at short leg, also for 30.
Macc then found themselves in trouble as wickets tumbled and the scoring rate slowed. Crosthwaite was still at the wicket, and any chance of reaching 200 seemingly lay in his hands.
However, after playing a controlled innings, he then perished for a well-made 40 to a sharp catch at slip.
At 145-9, Widnes were in a commanding position but Cutbill had other ideas and played a superb cameo, ably assisted by Ian Tait, to bring the score up to 178 in the 52nd over. The innings came to a conclusion when Tait was bowled by a delivery that nipped back to hit the off stump. Macc knew this would be a competitive total and a tough chase for the Widnes batsmen if they bowled well and took their chances.
With Macc missing a couple of seamers, Cutbill took the new ball and produced the breakthrough but Widnes’ Australian man Nalesnyik was looking dangerous, playing a number of expansive shots early on.
The score progressed to 50-1, when Nalesnyik fell at a crucial point in the game. This brought Ben Williams to the crease to join fellow Oxford University player Agarwal. After a shaky start, the pair quickly began to settle and form what was to be a big partnership for Widnes as the batting to follow looked inexperienced. They went on to produce a 100-run stand before Williams’ wicket fell to spin.
Despite claiming another wicket, Macc were unable to remove Agarwal, who went on to compile a match-winning 80 not out to guide Widnes home.
A good, hard fought game of cricket which looked a far more comfortable win on paper. It was a disappointing loss for Macc who slide to third in the table. But with top of the table side Oxton losing to Alderley Edge, the Premier League title is still up for grabs.
ALTHOUGH Bollington stretched their unbeaten run to a fourth week, they slipped to the foot of the Division One table with a draw at Bredbury.
While Bolly were not beaten, they are not picking up enough points, and as a result, now prop up the table.
On Saturday they were largely outplayed by their hosts who batted first and made
231-4 thanks to Aussie Peter Zybrands (89 not out) and the experienced Chris Wood, who was unbeaten on 63.
The Bolly bowling and fielding was off-colour as the home side made the most of a fairly flat wicket.
In reply the Bollington top order was blown away with the new ball and it was left to Alex Sykes (26), Ged McKernan (23) and Karan Deepak (24 not out) to show the application required to see Bolly through to a draw, finishing on 122-9.
Bolly only picked up three points from the game, meaning Saturday’s home fixture against fellow relegation candidates Brooklands takes on even more significance.
POYNTON’S promotion bid stalled against their hosts Upton, who did their chances of survival a power of good with a six-wicket victory.
Poynton were bundled out for 113 with Gary Dixon’s 6-46 the prime threat with the ball.
Paul Gould and Rick Clark joint top-scored with 20, and Clark took a wicket in Upton’s reply.
Jerard Van Heerden (47 not out) and Matt Ingram, who hit 40, saw their side to a welcome 25 points with a score of 115-4.
LANGLEY travelled to local rivals Pott Shrigley at the weekend and just about scraped over the finishing line in a tense encounter.
Skipper Stevens won the toss and elected to bowl on a damp wicket. Betteridge and Frame bowled tidily and runs were at a premium in a cautious start for the hosts.
The score reached 17 when Frame had Warren Barlow (7) caught at gully by Patterson, and the run rate continued to hover at two an over as Betteridge took his first wicket when Hart (19) was caught in the covers with Pott on 30 from 20 overs.
Betteridge grew in confidence and claimed two wickets in one over, both caught behind by the excellent Gay, as the home side struggled to 45-4.
Sam Cleaver and Matt Tarr added some much-needed acceleration and they rebuilt the innings, adding 72 in 15 overs until the impressive Cook bowled Cleaver for 45.
Tarr, who scored 52, continued to hit out in style but wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end as Pott Shrigley struggled to deal with Cook’s bowling.
Some good lower order hitting took Shrigley to a respectable 144-9 off their 45 overs, with Cook taking 4-25, Betteridge 3-35, Frame 1-32 and Patterson 1-48.
In reply Langley started well as Gay and Little saw off the new ball; they took the score to 33 but with Little, Laughton and Brown going in quick succession, Langley faltered to 39-3.
Despite wickets falling regularly Langley always seemed to be up with the run rate, Cook and Gay putting them back on track before a wild swing by Cook saw him caught behind for 11.
Stevens and Gay took Langley to triple figures as they sensed a comfortable victory, but when Stevens (26) was fooled by a slower ball from the superb Alex Clark, the pressure increased.
Patterson was caught behind and Gay was caught in the deep for 63. Pott were turning the screw, especially when Johnson departed for a duck, Langley on 142-8.
But Batteridge and Frame held their nerve and took Langley to a two-wicket victory – but credit must go to Pott Shrigley who fought hard, especially Clark who claimed 7-52.
PRESTBURY were beaten at home to Davenham, who batted first and scored 193. The reply saw Prestbury bowled out for 113.
IN a low-scoring encounter at Clarke Lane, Kerridge’s first team – bolstered by half a dozen second-team players – lost a low-scoring encounter.
On a drying wicket which enabled the bowlers to maintain control throughout runs were hard to come by..
Batting first Kerridge were indebted to Jimmy Knight (24) and Alex Williams (13) as visitors Port Sunlight’s opening attack of Armstrong (3-29) and the unorthodox Barnard (5-20) ripped the heart out of the innings.
With 55 overs to get the runs the visitors made heavy weather against the accurate attack of Knight, who took 2-31 off 24 overs, Davies (1-12 off 13) and Phil Waite (2-9 off nine) with P Ashley (20) and A Armstrong (20) their main scorers as they won with a little under five overs remaining.
This weekend, the firsts travel to Appleton seeking a much-needed victory while the seconds entertain Heaton Mersey Village on Saturday and travel to Sandbach for the semi-final of the League Cup on Sunday.
The second XI had been due to play a friendly against Ashley but their opponents were forced to cancel the fixture.