IRCHESTER missed out on a fourth win of the season in Division Three by the narrowest of margins as they fell just two runs short of a successful run chase.
Heyford reached 186-8 in their 50 overs with Matthew Baker (73) and Simon Legge (63) being the standout performers while Charles Cotter (13-1-22-4) was the pick of the bowlers for the leaders.
Irchester looked to be on target as Joe Morton hit 43 at the top of their reply but an unbeaten stand between Nathan McDonald (49no) and Craig McDonald (41no) wasn’t quite enough as they finished on 185-3 after 50 overs. Irchester 11pts, Heyford 11.
o Horton House 2nd 114 (41.4 overs), Old 117-0 (35): Old took advantage of that slip from the leaders as they closed the gap with an emphatic 10-wicket success.
Only Richard Falkner (44) and Shiv Jhala (23) made any impact with the bat for Horton as Andy Hayward (10.4-5-32-6) produced a superb bowling display while David Lloyd chipped in with economic figures of 9-6-6-3.
The run chase was made to look easy as Ben Street (61no) and Mark Laurenson (51no) completed the victory. Horton House 2nd 0pts, Old 22.
o Podington 149-4 (50 overs), Great Oakley 147 (49.5): There was a dramatic finish at Podington as the hosts sealed a two-run victory with just one ball remaining.
Podington reached a modest total with Adam Gascoigne (33) performing well at the top of the order before Jack Bowler (43no) and Rhys Moffat (32no) shared an unbeaten stand.
Chris York (34) gave Oakley a decent start in the reply and Darren Cullen added 26 but wickets fell regularly and, with the game looking like it could go either way, it was Podington who snatched victory in the latter stages thanks to impressive bowling displays from Dave Bolton (9-0-30-4) and Ian Hart (14.5-1-30-3). Podington 30pts, Great Oakley 3.
o Rushden 2nd 143-9 (50 overs), West Haddon 105 (45.4): Rushden leapfrogged West Haddon thanks to a 38-run success.
Barry Eales (42) and Ben Warren (26) scored crucial runs for the visitors as the rest struggled against Matt Dallow (15-7-31-5) and Robson Kightley (12-3-27-3).
But only Neil Humphrey (46) got going in Haddon’s response as Steve Chessum (12.4-5-17-5) did the damage for Rushden while good support came from Gary Small (11-2-32-3) and Richard Eady (11-5-20-2). West Haddon 4, Rushden 2nd 30.
o St Crispin & Ryelands 176 (49.2 overs), Wollaston 2nd 177-7 (35.3): Wollaston picked up their first win of the season thanks to a good run chase.
St Crispin were dismissed in the final over of their innings after Jason Harris (58) and Martin Quenby (46) had scored well. Jamie Perry (15-2-59-4) and Mark Gibbs (15-2-40-3) were the pick of the Wollaston attack.
Jimmy Hart proved to be the hero for the hosts as his knock of 69 proved crucial and others got starts to eventually help them over the line despite the efforts of Brian Motezu (8.3-0-43-3). Wollaston 2nd 22pts, St Crispin & Ryelands 10.
o Great Houghton 168 (49.4 overs), Raunds 101 (33.2): Raunds were condemned to their third defeat of the season at Great Houghton.
Robert Hart (57), Charles Hart (41) and Matthew Jackson (35) got the hosts to a respectable total as Kane Attley (10-2-32-3) led a good all-round display from the visiting bowlers.
But there was no joy with the bat for Raunds as just three reached double figures – the best being Glenn Foster (26).
The rest were undone by Henry Blencowe (11-2-37-4) and Jordan Page (6.2-2-16-3) as Houghton claimed a 67-run success. Great Houghton 30pts, Raunds 5.