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North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket League

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

Chris Lowndes (Burslem) and Greg Willott (Leek) were all smiles at Highfield before rain washed out play.

Chris Lowndes (Burslem) and Greg Willott (Leek) were all smiles at Highfield before rain washed out play.

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DEFENDING champions Leek will have to wait a little longer to open their account for the season in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket League Premier Division.

After three failed attempts to re-find last year's winning formula, Leek were looking forward to getting off the mark against winless Burslem at Highfield on Saturday – only to lose out to the weather, after facing just two balls.

The rain also put pay to what promised to be an intriguing Moorlands derby between Knypersley and Checkley.

Knypersley were looking to build on their promising unbeaten start to the 2014 campaign, which has seen them win twice and draw once.

Checkley arrived eagerly at Tunstall Road on the back of a confidence boosting impressive victory achieved at home to a Leek the previous weekend.

Michael Allen's finished third last season and Knypersley fifth after both sides had looked capable of denying Leek a second title win in successive years, only to fall away on the run-in.

The high spot of Checkley's defeat of Leek was a century from Josh Cartledge, and a late 31 runs from Nick Hubble, which pleased skipper Allen in his second season in charge.

Allen said: "Josh was excellent. He rode his luck at bit at times, but the runs flowed when Nick went in.

"We needed to go about seven-an-over for the last 20, so it was an excellent effort," he added.

Cartledge struck 16 fours and one six in his 115 as he set about punishing the Leek bowling attack. Checkley secured victory with just five deliveries to spare.

Cheadle's home fixture against Blythe in Division One was abandoned with no play possible.

Endon were looking to extend their two-point advantage at the top of Division Two from the scheduled visit from Oulton, but the umpires were forced to call it a day with the visitors on 27-1.

Alex Bailey's Endon have been this season's surprise package after finishing third from bottom last year.

Caverswall, despite not winning to date, have picked up 18 bonus points from their three outings to give skipper Mike Dodd hope for the future.

In Division Three, Leek & Moorland match at Crewe somehow managed to beat the rain and resulted in a fine win for the visitors.

Matt Bowcock was in superb form for the Moorlanders, taking 6-33 in helping to shoot out the home side for 111.

Neil Lafford hit an unbeaten half-century for the visitors who lost only two wickets making their winning reply.

No play was possible at Oakamoor where Fenton were the visitors.

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