Odell's Burton boys are in the hunt for promotion

Earls Barton celebrate a wicket but their efforts eventually proved to be in vain as they lost by five wickets to Old Wellingburians in Division Two of the NCL last weekend. Picture by Dave Ikin
Earls Barton celebrate a wicket but their efforts eventually proved to be in vain as they lost by five wickets to Old Wellingburians in Division Two of the NCL last weekend. Picture by Dave Ikin

A four-horse race has developed at the top of Division One in the Northants Cricket League.

Wellingborough Town are in pole position as they seek an immediate return to the top flight while Old Northamptonians 2nd are 12 points behind in second.

Slightly further adrift are third-placed Brigstock and then come Burton Latimer, who are bang in form at the present time.

A comfortable 193-run success at struggling East Haddon last weekend made it eight games without defeat for Luke Odell’s side.

And while they are still 37 points behind the table-toppers with 10 games to go, the Burton skipper firmly believes his team have a shot of claiming the one promotion place to end a three-year stint in the second tier.

“We are definitely looking to win the league, there’s no point in playing if that isn’t your attitude,” Odell said.

“We have still got to play the three teams above us again. We lost to Wellingborough Town at home and shouldn’t have done and we beat Brigstock and we beat Old Northamptonians.

“We have shown we are capable and now we are unbeaten in eight matches so, aside from Wellingborough who keep digging out results, we are the form team in the division.

“It was a fairly comfortable win for us last weekend, we batted first and set a decent score and we made a good job of bowling them out.”

If Burton are to make a charge towards top spot then the form and availability of opening batsman David Shelford could hold the key.

He has only played in five league matches this season but has struck a staggering 610 runs in that time, including a magnificent 257 not out against East Haddon on the opening day.

He cracked 91 against the same opponents last time out while fellow opener Scott Sanders continued his own good form with a knock of 51 making it a total of 616 runs for him this season.

“David has only played five games so that’s less than half but he is still the fifth highest run scorer in the division,” Odell added.

“He had the 257, he had another big hundred and he had the 91 last weekend as well.

“The good thing is that we have shown we can win without him but he is a massive player and the more he is available, the better it will be for us.

“But plenty of others are performing well. Scott is in great nick and others are chipping in with the runs as well. We have a deep batting order and it is serving us well.”