Tough start to the year continues

Stony Stratford CC
Stony Stratford CC

Stony Stratford’s batting demons reared their heads again on Saturday at Rushton as they were consigned to a fourth defeat in six Premier Division games.

It’s been a tough start to the summer for Stony, who go into June with only a solitary win over bottom side Burton Latimer to show for their efforts thus far.

To be fair, on a wet and green Rushton wicket, whoever had to bat first was going to be up against it.

Unfortunately for Stony skipper Alex Strong, he called incorrectly at the toss and opposite number Jonathan Carpenter had little hesitation sending Stony in to bat.

Strong then had to sit on helplessly as only two of his batsmen made double figures on the way to a paltry 78 all out in under thirty overs.

Rushton used just two bowlers, both left armers and they caused havoc from the first over for the visitors.

Jake Higgingbottom (6-36) and Marc Jackson (4-35) made the most of the seamer friendly conditions and went through the Stony order like a dose of salts.

Only Jarrod Pretorius (39) and Akheam Fox (13) made a fist of it for the visitors, who are finding runs at this level too difficult to come by so far this season.

Knowing that they only had a small total to chase down, Rushton decided that all out attack was the best policy on a wicket still offering enough assistance for the bowlers.

Ben Mansell (44) was chaser in chief for the home side, clattering 44 off just 21 balls to take the match quickly beyond the visitors.

Russell White and Alex Strong both claimed two wickets for Stony as the runs and wickets flowed, but with such a small total to chase down, Rushton could afford to lose four wickets along the way before easing their way over the line to an easy win.

Stony need to rapidly find some form to avoid being cut adrift towards the bottom of the table with fellow strugglers Wollaston and Burton Latimer.

They get a chance to get a second win of the season at home to Oundle on Saturday.

There was better news for Stony Stratford 2nds as they recorded a straightforward 55 run win at home to East Haddon.

Stony were asked to bat first on another tricky, wet wicket but made a good first of things, closing on 176-9 from their 50 overs. Prolific captain Chris Swain once again led from the front with what turned out to be a match winning 84.

James Pickles 28 was the next best score as the home side worked hard to post a competitive total.

In reply, East Haddon never recovered from a four wicket burst from Aaron Ashton early on.

Two wickets each for Josh Whitehead and Roger Rebbetts made sure that the visitors had no chance of getting close to their target as they finished on 121 all out.

Stony 3rds also ran out winners against Overstone Park 2nds. Stony batted first and veteran opener Stuart Gulliver rolled back the years with 56 to take his side to 175 all out in 50 overs.

The home side fell well short in reply on 121 after spells from Michael Brown (4-20) and Neil Allen (3-34) proved decisive. Gulliver returned late on for the ball for Stony and quickly bowled last man Dominic McDowell for 3 to secure the point for his team.