Batsmen earn the plaudits

Heyford batsman Matt Baker and West Haddon bowler Phil Adams.
Heyford batsman Matt Baker and West Haddon bowler Phil Adams.

TWO fine innings from East Haddon batsmen helped the first team to a winning draw against Wollaston Seconds in Division Three.

Earning the batting plaudits for the visitors were Darren Harrison (70) and Stephan Joubert (75).

In reply an undefeated innings of 66 from Wollaston’s Simon Driver and 33 from Marcus Shelton were also worthy of praise.

Craig Burger (four-38) and Simon Pearson (three-59) did well for the East Haddon bowlers.

West Haddon Firsts beat Heyford Firsts by eight wickets in Division Three – thanks largely to an impressive undefeated innings by Neil Humphrey (75).

There were also useful bowling performances from Ed Harmon (four-25), Phil Adams (three-16) and Neil Durbin (three-36).

Ashby Timken Firsts enjoyed a five-wicket victory against Higham Ferrers Town Firsts in Division Five.

Ashby’s Zaheer Iqbal hit a useful 66 as did in reply Higham’s Alex Church (53) and Toby Webbley (31).

Zaheer Iqbal was three-35, Stuart Mitchell (two-33), Jon Hill (two-31) and Kevin Johnson (two-35).

St Michaels 74 (Bugbrooke) Firsts achieved a winning draw against Finedon Dolben Thirds in Division Eight.

St Michaels’ Anthony Webb (51), Nick Croft (43), Adrian Spruels (34 n.o) and Johnathan Goodson (30) helped along the run-rate.

For Finedon, Nathan Clarke (49 n.o) and Steve Howes (eight not out) shared an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 49.

Oundle Town Seconds beat Yelvertoft by three wickets in their Division Seven encounter.

Oundle won the toss and asked Toft to bat on a dry wicket and a warm day.

Toft scored 171 all out in 44.1 overs. For Toft, Barnes Gladman scored 46 and John Eccles 40 runs.

Peter Foster took four for 51 in 12 overs for Oundle.

Oundle replied with an explosive start. Opener Ross Murray hit both Toft opening bowlers for several straight sixes before being caught off spin bowler Paul Brown for 62 which he hit off 25 balls.

Toft were unlucky when Ben Weatherington was caught but given not out because the ball hit a leaf from an over hanging tree. He carried on to make a match-winning 47.

Toft had Oundle worried at 141 for three but the Oundle tail batted carefully to win.

For Toft, Paul Brown bowled 10.3 overs and took three wickets for 55 runs.

In Division Nine, Long Buckby Seconds beat Wellingborough OGs Seconds by six wickets.

Daniel Lewis (three-31), James Rawlings (two-12) and Peter Incley (two-13) produced impressive bowling figures.

In the same division, St Michaels Northants Firsts beat Bowden Seconds by 38 runs. Tom Marlow (49) and Dave Harrison (41) wagged the St Michaels’ tail in a respectable total of 197.

Bowden wilted in the chase with Martin Baker bagging five-60 as the visitors fell 38 runs short.

Bugbrooke Seconds suffered a 170-run defeat against Mears Ashby Seconds in Division 12 – thanks in no small part to a massive innings from Jamie Chamberlain (78).

Bugbrooke’s Junaid Sheikh (five-40) and Andrew Devonshire (three-46) won the bowling praise as did Oliver Forskitt-Brown (six-six).

St Michaels 74 (Bugbrooke) Seconds beat Overstone Park Fourths by four wickets with Nathan Adams (50) getting a half-century and Mark Coleman (39 n.o).

In reply, Overstone’s Chris Bigley got a useful 49.

Karsten Webb (four-44) for St Michaels and Meetesh Chauhan (four-40) were worthy of note.

In Division 13, James Allen got West Haddon Seconds off to a good start against Kislingbury Temperance Seconds hitting 64 before contributions from Sam Chambers (40 n.o) and Jonathan Palmer (30) helped along the run-rate as Haddon swept to a 93-run victory.

West Haddon bowled well with Palmer going on to take an unbelievable seven wickets for just 27 runs.

Ben Taylor was the highlight of Kislingbury’s batting hitting 31 with Robert Perkin (30) and Luke Evans (21) adding useful contributions.

Badby Firsts struggled to get back to winning ways at Longroods in Division Six, hanging on determinedly in the end to prevent opponents Rothwell Town taking a full 20 points.

Inviting the visitors to bat, Badby’s bowlers continued to show their fine recent form, restricting Rothwell to only 50 odd runs in the first-half of their innings. Having kept wickets in hand the second-half acceleration in the scoring rate came chiefly via opener Julian Marlow (45) and captain Nick Kingsnorth (32), but at the expense of wickets falling regularly.

For Badby, Sabir Khawaja finished with three-20 and Stu Bonthuys two-33, as Rothwell were dismissed for 153 with two overs to spare.

Badby’s hopes of another successful run chase were high, but their reply was dealt an immediate blow with Sabir Khawaja unluckily playing on from the very first delivery of the innings.

Rothwell’s attack went on to prove to be the most testing Badby have encountered this season. Opening bowlers Andrew White (two-28) Nathan Jones (two-20) both completed their alloted 13 and first change Ellery White returned four-22 from nine overs, to see Badby in peril at 54-six before the halfway stage.

But Rothwell’s back-up bowling could not find the final breakthrough in the face of staunch resistance from the lower order – Ceri Roberts (33); Jake O’Keife (11) and Luke Aubrey (seven) batted for 25 overs between them to deny a strong Rothwell side the winners’ spoils.

The eight points secured for Badby see them move narrowly back ahead of Isham at the top of Division Six.

Badby Seconds came up 17 runs short against new entrants to the league, Sun Hardingstone.

Batting first, Sun posted 174ao, another five-wicket haul going to James Maplethorpe (five-44) and others being shared among Scott Baxter (two-37); Casey Cooper (one-45) and Ben Jones (two-42). Brothers Harry (45) and Matthew (32) Rowe were the chief contributors of runs for Sun.

Badby’s top order suffered the loss of three early wickets, before skipper Martin Wilcox (33) and Graham Harris (46) set about the Sun bowling to give Badby a real chance of victory. After both were dismissed by Matthew Rowe (three-35), the lower order were just unable to see Badby to their target, finishing on 157ao.