Great Brickhill came up just short at home to Shipton on Saturday as they slipped to their opening defeat of the Cherwell League Division One season.
Arriving at Great Brickhill without a win to their name in 2013, Shipton were not much fancied to snatch their first victory of the year, and batting first, they failed to set a very threatening score.
Garth Davson (4-59) and Julian Blackwell (3-29) did the damage for the home side as they skittled Shipton for just 168 from 42 overs.
It gave Brickhill a fairly achievable total to reach and extra overs in which to do so.
However, their runs came at a cost. Struggling to make headway, but always above the run rate, Brickhill simply lost too many wickets too cheaply.
Youngsters George Seacole and Sasha Barrass both took four wickets as the match was on course to go right down to the wire.
The game then swung back in Brickhill’s favour with Pete Hastings coming in at number 11 and thrashing the bat for a quick-fire 33.
But the Shipton bowlers kept to their plan and a home win was denied by a terrific catch in the covers, ending the game with Brickhill just eight runs short on 161.
Brickhill skipper Graeme Carter admitted his side were never really in the running with the bat, but still felt their bowling performance was one of the positives to take from the game.
He said: “Obviously losing is disappointing regardless of the circumstances, we never really got going with the bat until we were nine down and then to fall seven short which is disappointing even further.
“However, as always, there are positives to take.
“Once again we bowled very well but we’ve got to get into the habbit of winning both halves of each match if we want to compete for the top positions in the league.
“It’s a long season and there is plenty of cricket to be played yet. We’re still positioned in third place and I’m confident that the additional training sessions we’re holding this week will help us bounce back against Leighton Buzzard on Saturday.”
Local bragging rights were at stake at Manor Fields as Wolverton compounded Bletchley Town’s misery in Division Two.
Jude Ramanadanpulle was very unlucky not to be on the winning side after his superb bowling figures of 7-58 kept Wolves honest throughout their innings.
Atif Akhlaq’s knock of 47 was the highlight for the away side as they were bowled out for just 140 – a total which looked more than achievable for the Bletchley order.
However, it wasn’t to be. Idrees Butt (3-33) and Kieran Lampard (4-13) put a halt to everything Bletchley tried.
The run rates remained close throughout the tie as the game entered the final overs with both sides still fancying their chances of a victory.
But Wolverton had wickets on their side as the Bletchley order fell short of the mark, bowled out for 123 and giving Wolves a 17 run win.
The result sees Wolverton climb to third in the table and just two points from top spot, while Bletchley are 10 points adrift at the foot of the league.
In Division Five, Great Brickhill 2nds cruised to a comfortable victory against Challow and Childrey 2nds to keep up with the early pace.
Lee Morgan’s spectacular spell with the ball saw him take 6-32, ably supported by George Morris who took 3-33 as Challow were skittled with just 105 on the board.
But there were still some nervy moments along the way for Brickhill, as they lost five wickets in the chase, but in the end comfortably made it home on 106-5 for victory by five wickets.
In Division Six, Wolverton Town 2nds (142) drew against Bledlow Ridge (130-8) – Glenn Dickinson taking 5-34.