CASTROL’S progress away from the relegation zone stuttered this week with a draw against Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge.
After last Saturday’s emphatic victory over Wistaston they were looking to continue the run of good form which has seen them lose just once in their last eight games, but with skipper Mike Garvey, Martin Flanagan and Pete Hyndman Snr missing, it was not going to be easy.
Mike Piercy, Anthony Trevivian and Mark Ward were drafted in and Mike Caulfield stepped into the captain’s shoes as they made points on rivals Lindow and Chelford.
Nishan Bhandary (2-23) and Damian Walters (3-54) opened the bowling and Walters found an edge off Bennett’s bat to make the score 1-1. Moores (50) came to the crease and Caulfield (2-32) and Piercy (0-28) found little penetration despite hitting the right areas. On 168-7 Hyland (15no) and Bishop (1) nudged Cheadle past the maximum points mark on 172-7.
With a couple of key batsmen missing, 8-1 was not the start Castrol needed when Mark Evans went for four. The batsmen tried to up the tempo but Birch (4-47) caused problems and Castrol dropped to 81-5.
Walters (18) and Piercy (12no) grabbed two extra points with 21 runs together and also used up seven overs. The chase for runs was called off early and Castrol needed to survive the final six deliveries with two wickets remaining. On the fifth Ward was bowled, but Trevivian survived to close on 128-9.
Stand in skipper Caulfield said: “It wasn’t a great toss to lose – 30 degree heat isn’t the best weather to bowl in but we would be hypercritical to moan. We’ll take that.
“The bowling unit did a great job but we probably let the pressure tell too often by bowling a few too many four balls at important times. We need to remember the momentum is with us at the moment.”
Next week Castrol are at home to Kingsley.