Oundle open up with an 'encouraging performance'

Oundle enjoyed an impressive start to the new Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire League Premier Division season.

Finedon Dolbens Jack Keeping is bowled by Wollastons Shea Gribben during their Premier Division clash on the opening day of the Northamptonshire League season. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Finedon Dolbens Jack Keeping is bowled by Wollastons Shea Gribben during their Premier Division clash on the opening day of the Northamptonshire League season. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Mark Hodgson’s team produced a fine display with both bat and ball as they dismissed hosts Northampton Saints for 177 before knocking off the runs for the loss of just two wickets.

Harrison Craig (3-38) and Conor Craig (3-69) did the damage with the ball as Mohammed Rizvi top-scored with 78 for the hosts.

But the run chase proved to be no problem for Oundle’s top order as Jonathan Dalley (75no), Daniel Robinson

The Wollaston players celebrate a wicket

(37) and Hodgson (30) got them home on 178-2 in the 30th over.

And it all left the skipper feeling pretty good about things.

“It was a very encouraging performance,” said Hodgson, whose team take on local rivals Peterborough in their first home game of the season this weekend.

“We bowled first and I thought we produced one of our best bowling performances compared to anything from last year.

Action from the clash between Finedon Dolben and Wollaston at Avenue Road

“We haven’t really made any signings over the summer, it’s pretty much the same group of players but the bowlers bowled in partnerships and were very good.

“And it was a nice start with the bat for us as well.

“I am sure a few teams will look at it and see that we have lost James Kettleborough and think that we are a bit light on batting.

“But we just challenged our batsmen to go and make a name for themselves.”

Hodgson insists there are no set targets for his team for the summer ahead but he does expect them to be competitive in every game.

“We have not really set any targets as a team,” he added.

“We know there is a lot of talent in there and that we are capable of beating anyone on our day.

“The only real aims are to enjoy our cricket and make it as hard as possible for our opponents.”

Elsewhere in the top flight, defending champions Finedon Dolben had to settle for a draw as Wollaston replied with 150-9 in response to the hosts 269-7 declared, in which captain Callum Berrill cracked an unbeaten 91.

Newly-promoted Desborough also held on for a draw on 158-8 after Patrick Croker and Tom Swann had both made half-centuries in hosts Brigstock’s total of 255-7.

Rushden & Higham Town (179-6) batted out for a share of the spoils at Peterborough (302-6) but there was a losing start for Geddington (175)

who went down by 10 wickets to Old Northamptonians (178-0).

There was opening-day drama in Division One as Weekley & Warkton edged out Burton Latimer by just three runs.

Batting first, Weekley were bowled out for 180 with Josh Martin hitting an unbeaten 56 while Terry Butt and David Shelford picked up three wickets apiece for the visitors.

At 112-3, Burton’s reply looked to be on course with Scott Sanders (44) scoring well at the top of the order.

But they lost the next seven wickets for 65 runs as William Patrick’s spell of 4-50 helped bowl them out for 177 to give the hosts the narrow success.

Newly-promoted Earls Barton suffered a losing start as they went down by 18 runs at Old Northamptonians 2nd.

James Mellor hit 53 as ONs reached 171-9 with Charlie Lawrence (4-31) and Leigh Sheridan (3-50) performing well with the ball.

But Sheridan (68) fought almost a lone fight in the reply and, although Tom McDermott struck 33 lower down the order, Barton were dismissed for 153.

There was better news for Wellingborough Town who started their season with a four-wicket victory over East Haddon.

Kyle Awbery (4-32) and Sam Owen (3-31) were the chief tormentors as Haddon were bowled out for 168, Richard Hardwick top-scoring with 52.

But Wellingborough got over the line on 171-6 with Alex Bendon hitting 48 at the top of the order before Darren Trotter’s unbeaten 37 finished the job.