Feel-good factor is alive and well at Desborough

Bugbrooke captain Steve Tomlin is bowled by Loddington & Mawsley 2nds Rory Pateman. Loddington went on to claim a comfortable nine-wicket victory in Division Seven of the Northants Cricket League. Picture by Dave Ikin
Bugbrooke captain Steve Tomlin is bowled by Loddington & Mawsley 2nds Rory Pateman. Loddington went on to claim a comfortable nine-wicket victory in Division Seven of the Northants Cricket League. Picture by Dave Ikin

It’s been nine years since Desborough last graced the top-flight of the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire League with their presence.

But, as the current campaign heads towards the halfway point, there are signs that the boys from West Lodge Park could be on their way back.

Their emphatic 141-run victory over Burton Latimer last weekend was their sixth of the season and they currently sit just two points behind Division One leaders Overstone Park.

Captain Lee Pollard hit an unbeaten 85 as Desborough racked up 289-9 in their 50 overs before Jack Bilson took 5-29 to ensure Burton were bowled out for 148 in reply.

And, with a promotion challenge looking likely after an impressive start, Pollard insists the first-team’s good form just sums up the whole mood around the club.

“We are doing well so far,” the skipper said.

“We got a couple of lads in and we just seem to have a good, solid side at the moment. There are six different bowlers and there is a lot of batting in there.

“The whole team mentality is really good and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

“We have the bowlers capable of bowling teams out and we have batsmen who can chase scores or put a big total on the board so we are in a decent place.

“But, in the whole scheme of things, the club has turned itself around and we have not long had an extension built.

“The under-11, under-13 and under-15 teams are all doing well in their respective leagues so it’s a good place to be at the moment.”

Desborough are one part of the game of the day in Division One this weekend as they take on third-placed Loddington & Mawsley, the team they will also face in the quarter-finals of the NCL T20 Cup a week on Sunday.

Another win would take Pollard’s team further clear of Loddington but he knows all-too well just how much of a minefield the second tier can be.

He added: “We are playing well and want to keep that going.

“We want to do well in the league this season and we also want to try to push on and do well in the T20 competition as well.

“But this division has always been the same. All teams are capable of beating anyone on their day so we just have to try to carry on playing some good cricket and see where it takes us.”

The best performance of last weekend in Division One came at Boughton Park as James Crichton struck 180 as he led bottom side Weekley & Warkton to their first win of the season, a 125-run hammering of East Haddon.

Finedon Dolben emphasised their title credentials in the NCL Premier Division as an impressive run chase helped them beat fellow high-flyers Peterborough.

Batting first, the hosts reached 219-9 from their 50 overs with Lewis Bruce (56) the top scorer while

Drew Brierley (3-61) led a good all-round effort with the ball.

And Brierley was the hero with the bat as well as he struck 95 in Finedon’s reply. He shared a third-wicket stand of 117 with Jack Keeping (55) to enable Dolben to get over the line on 220-5 with 11 balls to spare.

Old Northamptonians remain top after they chased down Oundle’s total of 223-8 with 10 balls to spare.

Chanaka Ruwansiri produced one of the best individual displays of the weekend as he cracked 153 from just 90 balls to help Rushden to their second win of the season.

Charlie Thurston (82) and Sam Kumar (51) also scored well as Rushden closed on a huge 353-7 against Horton House.

And, despite the efforts of Ryan Turner (82) and Ben Coddington (80no), Ruwansiri wrapped up a fine day with figures of 5-39 as Horton’s reply fell short on 272-9.

Geddington made it two wins in a row as they edged past Wollaston in a low-scoring affair.

The hosts looked heavy favourites after Andrew Reynoldson took 5-29 to help bowl Wollaston out for just 140, 51 of which came from the bat of Harry Broome.

But the reply wasn’t straightforward as Luke Bartier (3-47) helped reduce Geddington to 93-8 before an unbroken stand between captain Chris Murdoch (28no) and Colin Griggs (16no) got the home side to victory on 143-8.

Brigstock halted a run of three successive defeats as they beat Northampton Saints by nine runs.

Patrick Croker (79) and Ricardo Vasconcelos (72) took Brigstock to 242-9 and it proved to be enough as George Groenland (4-38) and new fewer than four run-outs ensured Saints were dismissed for 233, despite the efforts of Jack Mousley (91).

It’s proving to be a tough campaign for Rushton and they were condemned to a fourth defeat of the season as they were put to the sword by Brixworth.

The hosts amassed 330-5 with Alex Lacey (104) leading the way and Rushton were then bowled out for just 112 with Harry Penberthy (6-35) doing the bulk of the damage.