BADBY Firsts clinched the Division Six title with a comprehensive victory over Gretton at Longroods.
The villagers had no hesitation in inserting the visitors, mindful of their ability to chase down a total as the reverse fixture had proven earlier in the season.
However, Gretton’s batting proved more fragile this time as Ben Jones (three-34) made important break-throughs with the new ball, clean bowling Gretton’s two most accomplished batsmen in successive overs.
He was ably supported by Jack Fuller who was constantly threatening in his seven over spell, unlucky to finish with only one wicket in return.
With Gretton’s middle-order “big hitters” at the wicket early, Badby turned to their twin talismen of Paul Cooper and Stu Bonthuys. As has been the case all season neither disappointed, both picking up wickets in their first overs.
Although Cooper’s spell was ended by injury after only three overs, Gretton’s tail was by now exposed and Bonthuys went on to finish with the remarkable figures of four wickets in six overs without conceeding a run off the bat, as Gretton were dismissed for only 65.
With such a meagre target to chase down, it was inevitable that a few nerves would creep in after the early loss of opener Andy Humphries.
Sabir Khawaja (23) and Duncan Blackwell (17) took Badby beyond the half-way mark before both were dismissed and, with three more wickets falling quickly, it fell to youngsters Ceri Roberts and Jack Fuller to see Badby over the finishing line of what has proven to be a fantastic campaign, with a return of 11 wins from 18 matches played.
Badby Seconds finished their 2011 campaign in Division 14 with a loss to already- promoted Medbourne.
Planning for the 2012 season at Longroods starts immediately, with a step up to a larger division and longer matches sure to prove a fresh challenge for the first team.
Badby CC welcomes enquiries from players of all standards, offering mid-week and Sunday friendly cricket in addition to the two Saturday XI’s in the NCL. Winter nets will start in the New Year and the club can be contacted via Facebook or http://badby.play-cricket.com/home/aboutUs.asp .
Yelvertoft beat Loddington and Mawsley Seconds five wickets in their final match of the season to seal promotion for the second year in succession.
They will play in Division Six next season.
Loddington were soon in trouble, losing both openers for only six runs.
But a third-wicket stand of 68 runs steadied the ship and with some attacking middle order batting, Loddington posted a formidable score of 237 for nine in 44.2 overs.
For Loddington, Ryan Richens scored 75 runs. For Toft, Dan Mcilhiney took threewickets for 31 runs in 10.2 overs.
Toft’s reply began disastrously with both openers out cheaply.
The dependable John Eccles held the innings together and with various partnerships was able to lead Toft to victory by five wicket in 42. 4 overs.
The highlight was a stunning match-winning partnership of 109 runs in 12 overs between John Eccles (94 not out) and Dan Mcilhiney (51 not out).
Benjie Taylor contributed to the win with a quick-fire 37.
Other results: Long Buckby Firsts beat Rothwell Town Firsts by four wickets; East Haddon beat Great Oakley by seven wickets; Heyford Firsts got a winning draw against Peterborough Town Seconds; West Haddon beaten by six wickets against St Crispin and Ryelands Firsts; Bugbrooke Firsts beaten by 77 runs against Isham Seconds.