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Checkley’s Nick Hunt hits out on his way to a half-century against Longton on Saturday.

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 09, 2013

Nick Hunt hits out

Nick Hunt hits out

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PREMIER Division leaders Checkley came desperately close to registering their ninth win of the season against a stubborn Longton side.

Their opponents from the Potteries were hanging on grimly at 79-9 when stumps were finally drawn at the end of a rain-hit match.

Last wicket pair Ed Jones (5 not out) and Andrew Leese (0 not out) batted out the last six overs to deny Checkley a deserved victory.

The hosts were sensing a useful points haul towards their determined title assault before the weather intervened to spoil the party.

Checkley built a mountain for Longton to climb by posting 221-9 declared, led superbly by skipper Michael Allen who top scored with 77.

The early foundations were laid by openers Josh Cartledge (34) and Nick Hunt (55) before Allen continued his excellent season’s form.

Longton were 12-0 in reply when the rain arrived and they never really got going on the resumption with their innings rescued to 47 overs.

Only two Longton batsmen got into double figures, Michael Longmore (19) and Dave Fairbanks (15), as Checkley continued to turn the screw.

Richard Cooper added to his impressive growing collection of wickets this summer with an excellent return of 4-32 off 19 overs.

Checkley 2nds are through to the final of the Talbot Shield after winning their semi-final clash with Longton by 51 runs on Sunday.

A half-century by Kevin Whitehurst (51) and other solid contributions from Ben Smith (42), Ben Motley (36) and Adam Hewitt (35) took Checkley to 251 all out.

Hewitt then went on to complete a fine all-round perfromance by taking 5-43 in helping to dismiss Longton for 200.

Premier Division B leaders Audley comfortably beat Burslem by 164 runs in the other semi-final.

Checkley 2nds remain second in Division One B despite recoring a disappointing winning draw against bottomplaced Leycett.

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