Stony Stratford were on the receiving end of a second successive Northamptonshire Premier League hammering on Saturday, falling by ten wickets to Rushton.
It was another wildly inconsistent performance from Stony and it’s their inability to score enough runs which is costing them so dearly this season.
New to the Rushton ranks is Northamptonshire’s James Kettleborough, a young man who has recently broken several of England captain Alastair Cook’s old Bedford School batting records. He found the Stony attack and the motorway known as Campbell Park very much to his liking as he smashed an unbeaten century to make sure the home side were put out of their misery relatively swiftly.
Stony, short of several regular players, were buoyed by an excellent opening partnership between Tom Moore and Tyler Lorton. The pair put on Stony’s best stand of the season, 105 for the first wicket and it looked like they were building a platform for their side to build a sizeable total.
Rushton soon removed their seamers from the attack, realising quickly that there was going to be nothing in the wicket for the quicker men.
They turned to spin and this is when things went horribly wrong for Stony. The Stony openers initially dealt with the spin well, taking quick singles and punishing anything loose.
It came as something of a surprise when Jonathon Carpenter bowled Moore through the gate for a well built 55.
Lorton brought up his half century but was then trapped lbw off the very next ball by Dan Bendon.
Only one more Stony player managed to make double figures from this point as 114-2 turned into 171 all out.
Bendon’s leg spin accounted for six of the Stony wickets to fall, with Carpenter backing him up well with four of his own. Stony lost all momentum once the openers went and seemed to revert to slog or bloke mode and at this level, that’s unfortunately not good enough.
A few lusty blows from Chris Guy and Andrew Ellemore was really all there was to show from the rest of the Stony innings and it was clear for all to see that they were well short of setting anything like a testing target on such a good wicket.
Moore and Lorton’s partnership gave a hint as to how good the surface was and Kettleborough and Ben Mansell clearly found it to their liking as they overhauled their target in just 30 overs.
Steve Bellew and Andrew Ellemore bowled tidy opening spells, but both struggled to get the ball off the straight and once Kettleborough got over a scratchy start, he soon found his range.
Stony tried spin quickly as well, but unfortunately without the same affect as their Rushton counterparts. Kettleborough’s hundred was a chanceless one, brought up in 96 deliveries with Mansell unbeaten on 59 at the other end. Stony’s bowling figures did not make pretty reading in the final analysis, but in truth, the real issue was once again a batting collapse against spin bowling which cost them.
Stony’s position in the table remains ninth, but bottom side and next week’s opponents Burton Latimer are only 19 points behind them after they gained their first win of the season last week.
Stony 2nds run of wins came to an end with a narrow two wicket loss at third placed East Haddon.
Stony’s 141 all out was thanks largely to 40 from Karan Patra and 30 from Oswin Peter.
In reply, the hosts just about made it home, despite a fine spell of 3-29 from Aaron Ashton.