Cricket: An afternoon of cruelty in the NSSCL top flight

ASHCOMBE Park and Checkley suffered cruel defeats by just one run in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket League Premier Division.

Checkley reached 252-8 in response to their visitors Whitmore's 253-6 in an entertaining high-scoring clash at Four Trees, while newly-promoted Division One runners-up Burslem, having made 171-8, saw Ashcombe fall just short on 170-9 at the close.

James Cronie played a leading role for Checkley with a fine all-round performance that saw him top score with 86 and then return 3-34.

Cheadle sufffered their first defeat of the season at home to the surprise team of the season, Longton, but the The Bassetts remain top of the table.

That's thanks to their Moorlands rivals Leek beating visitors Porthill Park by six runs in what was yet another top-flight thriller on the day.

Cheadle, without unavailable skipper Craig Smith, now share top spot with Longton on 68 points, who beat them by 16 runs at Tean Road after suffering a late batting collapse.

Longton totalled 153-9 and then dismissed Cheadle for 137.

Cheadle lost their last four wickets without adding a single run after looking set to making it five wins from five starts.

Tom Hope (5-24) and Tom Steele (2-22) inflicted the damage as Longton recorded their four successive win.

Leek kept up their promising start to the season under new skipper Alex Mellor who top scored with 47 against defending champions Porthill.

Rory Haydon (3-20) and Ryan Ball (3-27) shared the bowling honours as Porthill Park were reduced to 147 all out.

Leek totalled 153-9 after being invited to bat first and move up to fourth in the table.

Newly-promoted Division One champions Bagnall Norton continue to find life at the top a struggle. They sit bottom of the table after losing by five wickets at home to Moddershall & Oulton.

Bagnall Norton made 164-3 after being put in to bat, with an unbeaten knock of 63 from Akhtar Shoiab, but the visitors comfortably responded with 169-5.

Picture: New Leek skipper Alex Mellor has his Leek side going in the right direction


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