Macclesfield travelled to local rivals Alderley Edge for their final game of the season, with Alderley fighting for survival in the Premier Division.
Macclesfield skipper Barney Cutbill chose to bowl first, a decision that paid instant dividends as Ian Tait bowled ex-Lancashire player Mark Currie in a great opening spell. At the other end Jack Ward also bowled well until a back injury curtailed his bowling for the day.
The skipper brought himself into the attack early but the move brought a wicket immediately as Steele was caught at cover and Alan Day was LBW, soon to be followed by skipper Jason Whittaker, well taken at gully by Sawas as Alderley slumped to 45-4. Adam Worrall dug in for a well made 56 – the top score of the day – as he found support from Wildig in a vital partnership worth 36.
However, the introduction of Rob Porter’s off spin and a change of ends for Cutbill brought the last five wickets in quick succession as the hosts were bowled our for just 115.
Cutbill claimed excellent figures of 6-38 and Porter remarkable figures of 8.3 overs and three wickets for just 11 runs.
While it was a low score, on a green wicket with seam movement it would be no easy chase.
Indeed against the excellent Whittaker the exaggerated seam movement made hitting the ball far from easy. Only three got to grips with the conditions as Macc lost regular wickets in an innings delayed three times by rain.
Khalid Sawas again showed his class with an excellent 44, supported by Porter (21) and Jim Melrose (18). However when Sawas was seventh out and 35 still required, the odds were back in Alderley’s favour.
When Melrose was out LBW with the score at 91-8, Alderley felt survival within their grasp. More runs down the order got Macc to within eight runs and nerves were very evident. The final wicket fell when Whittaker (3-55) had his opposite skipper caught and bowled from a leading edge to wrap up the game and 21 points to finish 10th to survive by the skin of their teeth with Mark Warnes having stand-out figures of 5-21.
Macclesield’s six points meant a fine fifth on their return to the Cheshire Premier Division.
Some stand-out performers from the season were Khalid Sawas with nearly 800 Premier League runs and Tom Parfett, Rob Porter and Ben Morrison all qualified for the league averages. Morrison also took 34 catches behind the wicket in a brilliant season.
With the ball, all rounder Rob Porter claimed 36 wickets, Tom Barron 31 and Ian Tait and Barney Cutbill took 26 wickets.
The second XI’sgame with Widnes was washed out while the thirds just missed out on promotion in a draw with Timperley.