Four Counties League: New City back to winning ways

Unbeaten run: Milton Keynes are yet to lose this season, but couldn't quite manage a victory over Eaton Bray. Below, Pete Barnes made 60 for North Crawley 2nds against Luton Caribbeans. Picture: Richard Braybrook.
Unbeaten run: Milton Keynes are yet to lose this season, but couldn't quite manage a victory over Eaton Bray. Below, Pete Barnes made 60 for North Crawley 2nds against Luton Caribbeans. Picture: Richard Braybrook.

New City put a disappointing run of form behind them with a low scoring victory against MK City on Saturday, but they remain well off the pace at the top of Division One.

Last year’s runners-up have struggled to rediscover their best form so far this season, and went into their clash at MK City having lost their last two league games.

So they would have taken any sort of win, and while it didn’t turn out to be a classic, a low scoring three wicket win was just what the doctor had ordered.

New City restricted MK City to just 87-9 as Chris James (34) and Jeff Wisdom (15 not out) were the only men to make it into double figures – Arshad Mahmood (4-14) the biggest reason for that.

But the visitors also found it difficult to make runs in the wet conditions and in the end were indebted to a knock of 40 by Vishal Amratlal Valambhia to see them home on 90-7.

North Crawley are looking unbeatable in the defence of their title as they maintained their lead at the summit with a seven wicket victory against Cranfield University.

Colin Bonnett (3-16), Robin Platten (3-18) and Ian Gillam (4-22) rushed Cranfield out for just 77 before Glenn Young (29) fired Crawley to victory with 78-3.

Milton Keynes maintained their unbeaten run, but had to settle for a winning draw at home to Eaton Bray.

Tom Hilson (46) top scored for MK as they reached 138-9, but despite big pressure from Luke Anamourlis (4-19) and Nimesh Chavda (2-14), Eaton Bray held on to secure a share of the spoils with 91-9.

Newport Pagnell’s scoring problems continued as they were dismissed for just 98 on their way to a five wicket loss against Olney Town.

Marcus Bates (3-16) proved the best of the Olney bowlers as Brian Schmidt top scored for Newport on 37. But Stuart Keeping led Olney to victory with an unbeaten 49 as Olney finished on 99-5, with Daniel Broad (3-17) unlucky to be on the losing side.

Division Two

Old Bradwell’s impressive recent revival continued with a seven wicket victory against a Studham side they leapfrog over and off the bottom of the table as a result.

Seven different bowlers all took a wicket as Old Bradwell bowled their visitors out for 129 before Ross Poulter’s 68 not out sealed their win with 130-3, ably supported by Raza Salim (48 not out).

James McMillan took an early wicket for New Bradwell before their home game with Biddenham was abandoned due to the rain, but the match between Stoke Hammond and Eggington never got going.

Division Three

North Crawley 2nds were 25 run winners against Luton Caribbean as they remain top of the table.

Pete Barnes (61) and Liam Greenwood (54) saw Crawley to a total of 234-8, but thanks to Kevon Ashmede (97) Luton looked set to earn a share of the spoils.

That was until he was out to an outstanding catch from Harmit Bahra off the bowling of Rahkesh Mistry (5-31).

His departure gave Crawley the edge, but they still had to wait until the penultimate ball of the match to seal the win as Kamran Bahra (2-31) took the decisive wicket to end Luton’s innings on 209 and cue great celebrations.

Jay Fletcher took 2-19 for Shenley Church End before their match with Ivinghoe & Pitstone was a victim of the showers, as Open University didn’t even get going against Stewkley Vicarage.

Division Four

Printers remain the team to beat in Division Four after they continued their excellent start to the campaign with an eight wicket win at Eaton Bray 2nds.

After Bray recorded 71-6, it only took Printers 16 overs to win the game on 72-2 – Razzan Mohamed leading the way on 26 for the league leaders.

Also in fantastic form are Westcroft who saw off Milton Keynes 2nds by four wickets to stay second in the table.

Saud Shah (3-20) and Harry Singh (2-28) restricted MK to 108-9 and although Westcroft made slightly hard work of it, they eventually sealed victory on 109-6 – thanks in no small part to Temoor Alam who hit 67. Ed Page (3-12) had done his best to keep MK in it.

New Bradwell 2nds (126-7) lost to Wilden (130-7) by three wickets, while New City 2nds (120-8) earned a losing draw against Harlington (184-5).

Division Five

Olney Town 2nds remain top of Division Five thanks to a five wicket victory over North Crawley 3rds.

Matt Smart (39 not out) top scored for Crawley as they hit just 94 – a score that was never really likely to prevent Olney from winning again, and they sealed the deal on 95-5 thanks to Lloyd Warn (34 not out) and Johan Botes (33).

MK City 2nds (132-5) lost to Wing with Wingrave (133-5) by five wickets, despite a fine 67 not out from George Nelson.

Division Six

Stony Stratford 4ths (133-7) sealed a winning draw against Edlesborough (116-7), and the game between Bletchley Town 3rds and St Andrews lasted 10 overs before the rain hit.