NCL: Finedon stay on course as Division One title picture changes again

Finedon Dolben kept their title charge on course in the Hevey Building Supplies Northants League after a six-wicket victory at struggling Rushden & Higham Town.

Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 7:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 7:34 am
Brixworth celebrate claiming the final Burton Latimer wicket as they moved to the top of Division One in the Northants Cricket League. Pictures by Finbarr Carroll
Brixworth celebrate claiming the final Burton Latimer wicket as they moved to the top of Division One in the Northants Cricket League. Pictures by Finbarr Carroll

Ben Paine (63) scored well for Rushden while Tom Firm (36no) and Shiv Patel (30) chipped in as they reached 226-9 from 50 overs as Jack Chopping (3-45) led a disciplined Finedon attack.

In reply, opener Callum Berrill was the star of the show as he cracked 110 from 119 balls and, with in-form captain Drew Brierley adding 56 in a third-wicket stand of 129 between the pair, it set Dolben up for the win as they reached the target on 229-4 with plenty of time to spare.

Peterborough Town remain the biggest threat to Finedon and they kept up their pursuit with a high-scoring success at Overstone Park.

Burton Latimer appeal successfully for a leg before during their Division One defeat to Brixworth

Josh Smith smashed 107 as Peterborough piled on 310-5 and, despite Benjamin Sales scoring 60 in the reply, Overstone fell well short as they were bowled out for 246.

Geddington lost ground on the top two as they slipped to a one-wicket defeat to Kislingbury Temperance.

Batting first, Geddington were skittled out for 150 in 34.2 overs with Patrick Harrington (35) and Joshua Pistorius (23) the only batsmen to pass 20 as Ben Swingler claimed 4-44 for the visitors.

But the reply wasn’t all plain sailing as James Gaul (4-31) made early inroads to leave Kislingbury 21-5 at one stage.

Brixworth celebrate a wicket in their victory at Burton Latimer

However, the visitors found a hero in Henry Wilkins as he struck 62 to get them close before Graham Cottle (21no) and Abdul Nasir (4no) held their nerve to win it for Kislingbury in the final over.

The big game of the day at the bottom went the way of Brigstock in emphatic style.

They looked to be in a spot of bother when Jake Bindley (3-18) helped Desborough reduce them to 61-5 but a fine sixth-wicket stand of 165 between centurion Tom Swann (102no) and Tashwin Lukas (75) took the hosts to a daunting total of 264-7 from 50 overs.

And it proved to be more than enough as two wickets apiece for Lukas, Mohammed Saif, Jamie Delargy and Patrick Croker ensured Desborough were all out for 116 with Danyaal Malik (43) being the only batsman to put up any sort of resistance.

The other game of the day in the top flight produced over 500 runs as Oundle Town won at Old Northamptonians.

Conor Craig (101) and Sam Jarvis (74) shared a third-wicket stand of 174 to help take Oundle to a fine total of 278-7, despite the efforts of former Northants man Rob White (3-57).

ONs gave it a go in reply and there were plenty of batsmen who got going with Richard Kaufman making 53 but they fell short on 231 all out as Mark Hodgson returned impressive figures of 5-47.

The race for the title continues this weekend with Finedon hosting Overstone Park and Peterborough entertaining Brigstock.

Elsewhere, relegation-threatened Desborough and Rushden & Higham have tough tests against ONs at home and Kislingbury away respectively.

The other game on Saturday sees third-placed Geddington making the trip to take on Oundle.

The picture in the NCL Division One title race continues to change on almost a weekly basis.

The morning’s top two of Loddington & Mawsley and Burton Latimer finished the day in third and fourth place respectively after both lost.

Loddington were replaced on top spot by Brixworth who won the big game of the day against Burton at Hall Field.

Brixworth battled back from being 126-8, with Damon Hanney taking 3-35 for Burton, to reach 181 all out with number eight Rob Glaysher top-scoring with 33.

And that late effort proved vital as Burton were then dismissed for 140 with captain Luke Odell (47) the only batsman to really get going.

Wollaston also leapfrogged both Loddington and Burton after a three-wicket success over Old Northamptonians 2nd.

ONs were bowled out for 169 in the final over with Harry Broome taking 3-50 for Wollaston.

And, despite being 13-3 at one stage, Sam Reid (63), Broome (36) and an unbeaten 30 from George Green ensured Wollaston got to the target on 170-7.

For their part, morning leaders Loddington slipped to a second successive defeat as Stony Stratford ran out comfortable winners at Harrington Road.

Danny Chapman (83no) and Charles Oldershaw (80) helped get Stony to a big total of 276-7.

And Loddington had now answer as they were skittled out for 147 with the efforts of Josh Plowright (49) and Max Levine (43) proving in vain as Ben Arnold (5-29) bowled the visitors to victory.

At the other end of the table, Weekley & Warkton moved out of the bottom two after a crucial win over fellow strugglers Horton House.

James Smith (4-29) and Dave Walklate (3-13) helped bowl Horton out for 132.

And once Sam Palmer (33) and Josh Martin had put on 69 for the first wicket, the run chase proved to be a formality with Weekley reaching 134-2 with Martin unbeaten on 54.