Brigstock in the shake-up as season reaches halfway point

Oundle wicketkeeper Peter Foster celebrates taking a catch during his teams narrow four-run defeat at fellow NCL Premier Division high-fliers Old Northamptonians last weekend
Oundle wicketkeeper Peter Foster celebrates taking a catch during his teams narrow four-run defeat at fellow NCL Premier Division high-fliers Old Northamptonians last weekend

The battle for the sole promotion place to the Hevey NCL Premier Division is shaping up to be a close one this season.

The campaign reaches the halfway point this weekend and things are interestingly poised at the top end of Division One.

Wellingborough Town sit on top of the table after an impressive start but their second defeat of the season last weekend ensured the chasing pack stayed in touch.

That defeat was inflicted by Brigstock who are third and in the shake-up after 10 games.

They did things the hard way at Redwell Road.

Wellingborough would have fancied their chances when they dismissed the visitors for 151 as Kyle Awbery (5-32) did the damage with the ball while Patrick Croker (32) and Tashwin Lukas (32) were the best performers for Brigstock.

And it was Lukas who stole the show as his superb spell of 12.3-4-20-7 ensured the leaders were all out for 120 in reply.

Having finished third last year, Brigstock have given themselves a sniff of securing top-flight cricket next season, much to the delight of captain Sat Singh.

“We are very happy with the way the season has started,” he said.

“We finished third last year and we are up there again and I still don’t think we have played our best cricket yet so it’s good that we are picking up results.

“But last weekend was our best result of the season so far, especially as we were a couple of players short.

“We felt we didn’t get enough runs and there was a feeling that it was pretty much over at the halfway point.

“But Tash bowled as well as I have ever seen him. He seems to have an extra gear when it comes to playing against teams who are right up there and he was outstanding for us.

“The main aim for our club is to make sure we keep playing and keep winning.

“I know there are players within our squad who want to have a crack at Premier Division cricket and if we were to get there then it would be interesting to see how we would get on.

“But, for the time being, we are enjoying what we are doing and we will just see where the season takes us.”

Brigstock host Overstone Park in the last game of the first half of the season this weekend while Wellingborough make the trip to take on Desborough.

Second-placed Old Northamptonians 2nd, meanwhile, head to Thrapston.

James Kettleborough struck a superb 96 as Premier Division leaders Rushton booked their place at the Hevey NCL T20 Cup finals day at the County Ground.

Kettleborough’s fine knock came from just 54 balls and included seven fours and six sixes as he led Rushton to a big total of 192-7 in their quarter-final against Brixworth while Brad Armer (32) and Jack Parker (31) provided the support.

In reply, Callum Guest struck 43 and Peter Caunt added 39 but George Parker took 4-29 from his four overs as Brixworth were restricted to 162-7.

Holders Old Northamptonians (137-7) will be back at Wantage Road for finals day after they beat Horton House (136-5) by three wickets with five balls to spare as George Arblaster (18no) held his nerve to guide them home .

The clash between local rivals Peterborough and Oundle was called off and has been re-arranged for next Wednesday while Finedon Dolben’s home tie with Wollaston also fell victim of the weather.