The two heavyweights of the ECCL Premier Division met for the first time in the league this season and it was Alfas who went home happy, with a comprehensive victory over their fiercest rivals La Manga.
The visitors arrived at the Woodbridge Oval without the services of Munib Ranja and the late withdrawal of Spanish International Farhat Mahmood, whilst the home team were without all rounder Rob Tasker and the injured Ben Fletcher.
Alfas won the toss and elected to field. Pennick was in fine form with the ball at the town end of the ground but the usually economical Laundon was leaking runs at the other end which lead to an early change of bowling.
This was to prove a decisive move as the La Manga batsmen had no answer to the leg spin of Crompton.The Alfas allrounder bowled his nine overs straight through to finish with figures of 3-17. This was topped by the left handed off spin of Pete Fell who also bowled nine consecutive overs for the just nine meagre runs. Pennick and Taylor chipped in with a wicket a piece and a direct hit at the stumps by Crompton saw Akash Panchal run out after he had just hit a fine four.
Laundon came back at the end to mop up the innings, taking the last wicket, by bowling the La Manga captain George Wambeek.The visitors skipper and John Jones had put up stubborn resistance for a few overs in their last wicket partnership but La Manga were finally all out for just 94 runs in 37.3 overs.
A great performance in the field by the Albir based club put them firmly in the driving seat at the interval. La Manga opened after the break with Talat Ali and his brother Atif.
The Alfas openers Spencer and Christain Munoz-Mills got an hostile reception from their international team mates but weathered the early ball storm with the minimum of fuss. Well in control by the 14th over, Alfas lost their one and only wicket when Spencer missed a ball from the spinner Akash Panchal and was promptly stumped by Ranja for a fine 33.
Naveed joined Munoz-Mills at the crease and played conservatively, and sensibly to see the home side over the line without the loss of further wickets. At the end Munoz-Mills remained unbeaten on 46 as Alfas wrapped up a very pleasing day for their club with a comprehensive maximum points victory.
To compound the visitors misery, the visitors were deducted two points by the umpires for having no designating scorer, thus finishing with minus one point from the fixture.
La Manga have a chance to rectify things quickly however, as both teams meet again in the league next week at Murcia ground, in what could be argued as a possibly championship decider.
Another win for Alfas would see them in a commanding league position, whilst a reversal of todays result next Saturday would put La Manga firmly back in contention. The game starts at 11 am next Saturday and all spectators are welcome, entrance is free.
A further interpretation of the game follows from Kevin Laundon, the Alfas chairman
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club Sporting Alfas 1st X1 95 for 1 beat La Manga CC 94 for 10
Saturday the 30th June, and table toppers La Manga visited The Woodbridge Oval in what promised to be a great day for Cricket lovers, unfortunately La Manga had not read the script and SACC proved that possibly they deserve to be the number one side on the Costa Blanca.
SACC captain Laundon won the Toss and asked La Manga to set a score, SACC bowlers yet again took control early. Pennick bowling exceptionally well but again without much luck, his 9 over's for 17 runs and 1 wicket not telling the true story as he beat the bat often.
Crompton, on early this week, showed his class and again mesmerized the batsmen, 9 over's 3 wickets for 17, Fell bowled his best spell yet for the team as he returned a fantastic 9 over 9 run 3 wicket spell. Taylor bowled his spell and proved a handful, 8 over's 10 runs for 1. Only Brook jnr hung around but only reached 20 runs from 60 balls faced. 14 wides helped La Manga reach 94
SACC openers Spencer and Muñoz reached 60 from 10 over's before Spencer(33) walked by the ball and was stumped. Muñoz reached 46 and Nadeem 8 as 95 runs came up in the 19th over for the loss of only 1 wkt.
The SACC team received 20 points and closed the gap at the top to 6 points with a game in hand, the return match is this Saturday at La Manga and SACC are sure to meet an hostile reception as the teams fight it out for top spot