THE Groves bounced back from last week’s defeat to Haslington with a comfortable win over Wilmslow on Saturday.
They chased down a target of 86 with seven wickets to spare and kept their title challenge alive, thanks to a calm unbeaten 43 from man of the match Mark Evans.
It was a turgid affair at times on a damp and tacky wicket, with Wilmslow’s middle order unwilling or unable to set the pace after their captain’s surprise decision to bat first.
They took an agonising 42 overs to compile their runs. Green top-scored with 23 not out, but he played a big part in his side’s go-slow tactics and ran his last partner out with a bad call.
Aldcroft, one of four Groves players returning to the side, did most of the damage with 3/11, supported by Cook (2/17), Finlay (1/4), Garvey (1/9) and Walters (1/26, plus the early run out of Lees).
Finlay proved he is one for the future in his first bowl for the 1st XI, while Cook was on a hat-trick after snaring the dangerous Fuller for 11 and Dixon first ball.
This reduced the visitors to the ruins of 38 for 5, driving Green and Newsome into their shells. Eventually, Aldcroft trapped Newsome for 18 and the rest followed quickly.
Skipper Garvey got the run chase off to a bad start, bowled for a duck by Maynard, but Ward and Evans snuffed out Wilmslow’s remaining ambition with a solid partnership.
A Patel grubber trapped Ward for 27, but Evans made light work of the bowling of Carr, moving the score on to 77 before he lost his partner, Walters, to a brilliant catch at mid-wicket off the bowling of Rowe.
Caulfield came out to make sure the result – and the maximum 25 points – were a mere formality from there.
Garvey said: “It was another great display. We haven’t had a settled eleven for a few weeks but the guys who keep coming in are doing a great job.”