ALVANLEY and Chester County Officers have wrapped up league titles – and promotion – with one week of the season to spare.
At Runcorn on Saturday, Alvanley secured the club’s first championship in 22 years by winning the Meller Braggins League Division One crown.
Andy Bennion’s men will now make the step up to the County League next year.
The champagne was also flowing at Mannings Lane as Chester County Officers captured the Division Three title, making it a promotion double for local sides.
Alvanley skipper Bennion said: “It is a great time to be part of Alvanley CC. Off the field there is a huge number of people working incredibly hard to develop the club.
“This season has been a continuation from 2010, when we missed out on promotion by the narrowest of margins.”
Bennion, who also paid tribute to the club’s junior set-up and groundsman Ian Charles, has guided Alvanley on an unbeaten run which stretches back to July of last year.
Saturday’s win at Runcorn was a comprehensive one.
The hosts won the toss and opted to bat first on a damp wicket.
Chris Charles took 2-2 in two overs early on, while spinner Robin Fisher trapped four batsmen in his web of close fielders as Runcorn were all out for 125. In reply, Nick Geddis (46) guided Alvanley to 126-5.
While Alvanley were busy winning Division One, Chester County Offices were in the process of defeating Over Peover to claim the Division Three crown.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bat on yet another brilliant track.
Skipper Mike Clarke (1-45) bagged the day’s first wicket and he was backed up by Vamshi (2-26), Graham Dodd (1-25) and Steve Johnson (4-25) as Peover finished on 161ao.
Chester, who had fielded magnificently, got off to an ideal start after tea courtesy of Mike Rowlands (86) and Ian Rule (48).
Roger Watt (13no) joined Rowlands to take the score to 159 before Rowlands, trying to finish the game with a boundary, was caught at mid-off.
It was left to Chris Wright (4no) to hit the winning runs as Chester took an assailable lead at the summit.
Bunbury, who beat Sandbach on Saturday, occupy the second promotion slot and will be looking to make the step up with CCO.