Four Counties: Leaders slip to first defeat of the season

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North Crawley got caught out by relegation strugglers Thurleigh but remain top of Four Counties Division 1.

The reigning champions fell to their first defeat of the season with a surprising batting collapse, following a fairly routine bowling display restricted the home side to just 142.

League top scorer Alex Walker fell without scoring, as only three Crawley batsmen made it into double figures.

It looked like the home side would just sneak the victory though, but late strikes saw them come up five runs shy on 137.

Fortunately for Richard Bryce’s side, second place Milton Keynes City’s game with Elstow was cancelled, and North Crawley remain top of the league.

New City (183) drew level with Elstow in third with a winning draw against Milton Keynes (167-9).

Olney Town (72-0)made light work of Eggington Foresters (71) in 12 overs.

Old Bradwell remain rooted to the bottom of Division 2 after losing to league leaders Buckland & Aston Clinton.

Old Bradwell were skittled for 75, a score Buckland (76-2) mopped up in 16 overs.

Third place Aspley Guise were two wicket winners over Milton Bryan in a low-scoring, but thrilling encounter.

It looked to be well in hand for Aspley Guise as they held Milton Bryan to 93-9 in a rain-affected game.

But while scoring the runs looked well in control, Aspley Guise were losing wickets cheaply, and cut it fine but crossed the line on 94-8 to take victory.

It was another low-scorer in the game between North Crawley 2nds and New Bradwell. David Little did the business for New Bradwell with the ball, taking 5-10 as Crawley were reduced for 88.

In reply, Chris Timms hit 68 not out as Bradwell (94-1) rattledoff the total in 13.1 overs.

Stephen McDougall took 5-20 for Bromham (123), but it wasn’t enough for them to beat Newport Pagnell (134).

Printers (130-2) remain top of Division 3 as they made light work of Eggington Foresters 2nds (127).

Westcroft (124-5) remain hot on their heels though, after being Luton Caribbean (122-8) by five wickets.

And Open University (142-6) proved too strong for Studham (141-9).

In Division 4, New City 2nds lost ground to leaders Harlington as they lost to Milton Keynes 2nds by five wickets.

Ed Page took 5-35 for MK as New City were bowled out for just 118.

Keith Brady hit 62 at the top of the order to put MK in charge, though only Ben Warren, batting at five, provided any real support, adding 38 as MK made it home on 119-5.

Wilden and Shenley Church End were involved in a dramatic tie.

The home side were bowled out for 113, as Shenley’s Richard Fletcher and Jude Matarge-Don took three wickets each.

Fletcher then fell just shy of his half century (49) to put Shenley in with a chance of winning the match.

But a sensational run-out, as Shenley ran for the winning runs, saw the scores level at 113.

Olney Town 2nds’ game with Stewkley Vicarage was cancelled because of rain.

Division 5 leaders Westcroft 2nds were frustrated by New Bradwell 2nds and had to settle for a winning draw.

Zaheer Khan hit 63 as the leaders set 157-5, but they couldn’t take the decisive wicket at the end, as New Bradwell (115-9) held on to draw.

North Crawley 3rds against Great Brickhill 3rds was cancelled.

In Division 6, Andy Preston’s 87 at the top of the order for Stony Stratford 4ths put them in pole position against Cublington 3rds. Stony scored 232-6, which was out of reach for Cubs, who scored 129-5 for a losing draw.

In Division 7, Bletchley (86) lost to Buckland & Aston Clinton 2nds (187) by 101 runs, New City 3rds (70) lost to Aspley Guise (182-6), and Printers 2nds (86-6) beat Ivinghoe 2nds (85).