Champs find their feet but remain in drop zone

Eaton Brays Paul Harris chipping back to MKs Kaushik Sunkara
Eaton Brays Paul Harris chipping back to MKs Kaushik Sunkara

Champions North Crawley are still in the Four Counties Division 1 drop zone despite beating title contenders New Bradwell on Saturday.

Alex Walker’s side have struggled to find form this season, and had only one win going into the game, while New Bradwell have their sights on leaders Eaton Bray.

MK's Nirosha Wijenayake

MK's Nirosha Wijenayake

New Bradwell opener Kieran Lampard (37) started things off well but Carl Bryce was on great form with the ball. He took 3-63 but also played a part in running out Allen Bridgeman (21), and also caught Chris Timms (27).

Bryce Jnr also took the vital wicket of Harry Singh, who top scored for the visitors with 79 as New Bradwell closed their innings on 220-7.

The reply was swift. Walker, who led the league in runs last season, scored 80, ably assisted by James Armstrong’s 79 as North Crawley (221-3) went on to win by seven wickets.

It means it’s advantage Eaton Bray after they beat Milton Keynes by 73 runs.

A brilliant 77 from Josh Peacock helped Bray on their way, but he found long-term partners hard to come by.

MK’s Nimesh Chavda cleaned up the tail, including trapping Peacock LBW, on his way to figures of 5-40 as the home side bowled out Bray for 180.

The reply though stuttered throughout. Things still looked promising for MK though at 90-5, but the remaining wickets would fall for just 17 runs as Bray skittled their opponents for 107 to open the gap at the top to 32 points.

Josh Selvey starred for Olney as they beat New City by six wickets.

Selvey took 5-12 as the hosts skittled New City for just 91. Olney needed just 27.2 overs to see off the score and take the victory.

Division 2 leaders Printers maintained their advantage by beating Cranfield University by 37 runs.

Batting first, Printers were bowled out for 186, with 46 coming from Panchalingam Suman.

The reply came up short thanks to some solid bowling from the visitors, though a good partnership between Adithya Rao (37) and Johnathan Fitzgerald (58) threatened to bring Cranfield (149) into contention.

Newport Pagnell (52-2) kept up the pressure though with an eight wicket win over North Crawley 2nds (51), as James Mead took a remarkable 7-25.

MK City remain in the hunt after beating Old Bradwell, while Open University (90-1) cruised to victory over Eggington Foresters (87).

A great partnership between Richard Fletcher (67) and Rob Hatcher (72) denied Ivinghoe & Pitstone a win over Shenley Church End.

Despite chasing 301 for victory, Shenley put up a stern defence, thanks in large part to Fletcher and Hatcher’s stand to take a draw, coming in on 216-7.

In Division 4, Westcroft 2nds (99) failed with the bat but triumphed with the ball, bowling out Wilden for 79 to stay second in the table.

MK Warriors (102) were beaten by leaders Edlesborough (117-9), New City 2nds (181-7) drew with Milton Bryan 2nds (139-9) and Olney 2nds (110) lost to Caddington (141).

In Division 5, North Crawley 3rds (123-7) drew with Lidlington (191-4), Great Brickhill 3rds (213-4) drew with MK 2nds (180-6) and New Bradwell 2nds (85) lost to Thurleigh 2nds (206).

In Division 6, Old Bradwell 2nds (41) lost to Buckland & Aston Clinton 2nds (265-8).

In Division 7, Wolverton Town 3rds (52) lost to Wing with Wingrave 2nds (198-8), Westcroft 3rds (89-1) beat Edlesborough 2nds (87-9) and Printers 2nds (200-8) beat Great Brickhill 4ths (155-8).