Battle for promotion intensifies as Weldon and Irchester collide

Finedon Dolben celebrate after Jack Chopping trapped Brixworths John Bowers leg before during the Premier Division leaders six-wicket victory last weekend. Picture by Dave Ikin
Finedon Dolben celebrate after Jack Chopping trapped Brixworths John Bowers leg before during the Premier Division leaders six-wicket victory last weekend. Picture by Dave Ikin

Promotion and relegation issues are being resolved on a weekly basis as the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire Cricket League heads towards its climax.

But there is still plenty to be resolved at the top end of Division Three.

The game of the day this weekend sees leaders Weldon entertaining second-placed Irchester.

Victory for the hosts will see them crowned champions but the visitors will be hoping for another win to keep them on course for the second promotion place.

Irchester are just seven points clear of third-placed Old Grammarians while Wollaston 2nd are only one point further back.

While Weldon are destined for another title success regardless of what happens this weekend, the battle for the other promotion slot looks like it will go to the wire.

Irchester maintained their push with a five-wicket win over Brixworth 2nd last Saturday, a game in which captain Jamie Souster claimed a ‘five-for’.

He said: “I don’t think we really expected to be in this position to be honest. It’s not something we had thought about at the start of the year.

“Everything has fallen into place. We have had good availability, we had some players join us and a lot of youngsters have stepped up for done well.

“It’s a big game this weekend and both teams will be right up for it.

“I will always back us, you have to back yourselves. It’s going to go to the wire but we have got to be confident.”

Finedon Dolben could take another giant step towards the NCL Premier Division title when they take on third-placed Peterborough in a huge clash at Avenue Road this weekend.

Dolben maintained their grip on top spot with a six-wicket success at Brixworth last Saturday.

They restricted the hosts to 194-7 in 50 overs before good knocks from Vicram Sohal (57), Drew Brierley (37), Tom Sole (37no) and Sean Davis (36) took them to the target with plenty of time to spare.

Desborough remain in pole position with three games to go as they bid for a long-awaited return to the top-flight.

The Division One leaders had to settle for a draw against East Haddon last weekend but still picked up 17 points for their efforts.

Jack Bilson (78no) and Simon Renshaw (73) helped take Desborough to 252-7 but with Ed Smith hitting an unbeaten 100 in the reply, Haddon held on for a draw on 224-8.

Desborough are 17 points clear at the summit after Overstone Park stayed in touch with a three-wicket victory over Old Northamptonians 2nd.