Stony Stratford’s second Northants League Premier Division game at Campbell Park appeared to be going the same way at the first as the ‘home’ side were struggling against Horton House before the game was abandoned due to the rain.
Stony enjoyed an impressive away victory at Wellingborough Town following their opening day defeat to Wollaston at Campbell Park, and they looked to be in trouble of losing again as the visitors recorded 161-8, thanks mainly to a superb unbeaten century from Elliott Ruff by the end of their 46 overs.
Johnny Farquhar (16 not out) was the away side’s next highest scorer as Stony bowlers Graham Simpson (3-32), Alex Strong (2-38) and Sean Rebbetts (2-35) all had good spells.
That seemed to leave Stony well-placed to hit back and win the game, but the loss of opener Andrew Miller for no score, and the gathering rain clouds, soon began to change the story.
Fellow opener Tom Moore made just 12, and Nick Allen went for 7, while Jarrod Pretorius looked in good shape on 32 not out before the rain came down and play was stopped.
It’s hard to judge Stony’s start to the season so far, but Saturday’s trip to Oundle, weather permitting, might begin to give an idea. They currently sit third from bottom of the division, which is perhaps an unfair reflection on their performances so far.
Stony 2nds had their first success of the year with a winning draw at Isham, where James Pickles stole the show with a fantastic 82 for the visitors.
Despite the efforts of Adam Somerfield (7-37) to single-handedly bowl them out, Stony went on to record 227-8. Chris Swain (53) and Paul West (46) also had good knocks before falling to Somerfield, and after the middle order fell fairly cheaply, the away side looked on course for the win.
However, they came up against a stubborn Tim Robinson (81) who kept Isham in contention as they held firm on 169-4 when play stopped.
There was a five-wicket defeat for Stony 3rds against Brixworth at Ostlers Lane after falling to just 120 all out.
The visitors found it fairly easily in reply, but there were two wickets apiece for Stephen Richardson and Neil Fewtrell as they won on 121-5 inside 28 overs.
FOUR COUNTIES LEAGUE
Only one game in the Four Counties top flight reached a conclusion on Saturday, and that was at North Crawley where they thumped Eaton Bray by eight wickets.
Deciding to bat first proved to be a mistake for the visitors as they were seen off for just 108, with Crawley’s Carl Bryce (3-18) and Robin Platten (2-11) the pick of the bowlers, while Colin Bonnett and Dean Bryce both claimed two wickets.
That set the hosts up perfectly for a shot at victory before the rain hit, and Alex Walker wasted no time in firing off an unbeaten 59, with fine support from Glenn Young and Sam Howe (23 not out) as they sealed the deal on 109-2 in less than 12 overs.
That was a second win of the year for Crawley, but they have to make do with second place in the Division One table behind MK City, who looked good for another win against Milton Keynes before the showers.
Mohammed Shahid (2-14) helped to restrict MK to just (87-5) after 30 overs, but fortunately for the visitors they were saved defeat by the rain.
Elsewhere Cranfield University were looking good to beat Newport Pagnell after the away side were struggling on 49-3, chasing 148 to win the game.
Cranfield’s Neelabha Chatterjee (59) led the scoring as four Newport bowlers all claimed two wickets each.
Elstow had made only 36-1 inside 13 overs when their game against Olney Town was rained off, and it was a similar story for New City who had Thurleigh on 55-1 when play came to an end after nine overs.
At this early stage of the season, MK City look good to challenge the likes of North Crawley and New City for the title in 2013.
New Bradwell’s game with Milton Bryan (37-1) was called off after 10 overs, while the fixture between Stoke Hammond and Old Bradwell went the same way.
North Crawley 2nds’ strong start to the year was saved as their clash against Ivinghoe & Pitstone was rained off with the visitors in all sorts of trouble.
Deciding to bat first, Ivinghoe reached 182-7, with Thomas Groves (51 not out) the pick of the scorers. And in reply Crawley were having a nightmare, struggling on 52-7 when the rain saved their blushes – Liam Greenwood (27) the only man to reach double figures as Adam Nice (6-20) had a field day.
Shenley Church End (18-2) were in bad shape when their game with Caddington was called off, but Open University did manage to record a win against Tring Park 4ths by eight wickets.
Ed Page (4-21) and Bharath Sukumaran (3-16) were the bowling stars as Tring were seen off for 136. And Basil Lall (60) fired the visitors to victory on 138-2, well supported by Alex Gray (48 not out).
Printers have enjoyed a good start to the year, but never stood a chance of recording another win over Harlington (19-1) because of the rain.
There was also frustration for Westcroft who had New City 2nds struggling on 13-3 after 11 overs, as New Bradwell 2nds were taking on Milton Bryan 2nds (47-1) and Milton Keynes 2nds (16-1) played Drayton Parslow for all of eight overs.
Newport Pagnell 2nds and North Crawley 3rds didn’t even get going because of the rain, while Olney Town 2nds were on 38-2 against Elstow 2nds and Great Brickhill 3rds were denied a short at victory over Whitchurch after seeing them off for 140 – Adam Boad enjoying himself with figures of 5-28. In reply Brickhill were on 4-1 after three overs.
Not even the weather could prevent Stony 4ths from suffering an eight-wicket defeat against St Andrews, despite the efforts of Mahesh Sethuraman (52) and Steven Osborne (69).
Apart from their fine knocks Stony struggled to score runs, but still set a decent total of 170-7 in 40 overs. But their bowlers disappointed, with just one wicket each for Osborne and George Collins as the home side won on 171-2.
Bletchley Town 3rds had Wing with Wingrave 2nds on 32-0 when play came to an end, while Little Horwood were taking on Edlesborough (52-1).
Wolverton Town 3rds had a batting nightmare on their way to a seven-wicket defeat against Cublington 3rds. Bowled out for just 54, only Waheed Rehman (17) reached double figures as Steve George claimed 5-25. And despite the efforts of Tauheed Rehman (2-16), Cublington got home inside 14 overs to win on 55-3.
Stoke Hammond 2nds had set Edlesborough 2nds a target of 194 to win after some strong run-scoring throughout the order, including 60 not out from Dave Connell as they totalled 193-8. In reply Edlesborough had made 51-2 when the rain came down.
MK SUNDAY LEAGUE
For a while it looked like Sunday’s weather would allow for some decent cricket, but that wasn’t the case at Castlethorpe where the home side had made 73-1 against Wolverton Town when the rain arrived.
And it was the same story at New Bradwell and Westcroft as their games with MK Badshahs and Old Northamptonians respectively were called off.
The match between Olney Town and Milton Keynes never got going, and MK City were on 23-2 when their tie with Stony Stratford 2nds was washed out.
The three scheduled games at Wolverton Town 2nds, Shenley Church End and North Bucks Ambulance were also victims of the weather.
SOUTH NORTHANTS LEAGUE
MK Air’s home match against Dunchurch & Bilton never got going, but there was time for Hanslope to record a seven-wicket win over Preston Bissett. The home side were bowled out for just 87 and Hanslope were quick to seal the deal with 88-3 to go fourth in the table.