Stony Stratford bounced back to winning ways on Saturday with a comfortable victory over Oundle.
After suffering a blip last week at Horton House, Stony Stratford bounced back into form with a comprehensive 76 run win at Campbell Park.
Stony now have four wins from their last five games and six in all this summer, but none more satisfying than this one against a side who they were completely obliterated by earlier in the season.
Back in May, Stony were rolled over for just 60 and beaten inside two hours by newly promoted Oundle and so the result, and the dominant nature of the performance shows just how far they have come as a side in just a few months.
In truth, Oundle have been hampered by the recent suspension of talismanic fast bowler Petrus Jefta, who tore through a shell-shocked Stony at Oundle earlier in the season.
Jefta has been banned for the rest of the season after bowling an intentional beamer at an opposition batsman in a recent league game and it has left the Oundle seam attack somewhat toothless as a result.
Still, visiting captain Cameron Wake decided to bowl first on another excellent Campbell Park surface that offered a bit of pace and bounce as well as turn for the spinners.
Stony recovered well from losing Tom Moore early on thanks to a fine second wicket partnership of 76 between Tyler Lorton and Vicram Sohal (26).
Lorton was particularly impressive, smashing 11 boundaries on his way to a vital 70 which proved to be crucial for Stony in terms of building a defendable total.
Oundle’s seamers may not have offered much but there was nothing fishy about the bowling of off spinner Harry Ramsden, who bowled beautifully for his side after the buffet offered up early on.
Ramsden, who is on Essex’s books, grabbed the vital wicket of Lorton just as the South African looked to push to score along and then took six more to finish with excellent figures of 7-50.
After such a good start, Stony were disappointed to be 126-4 when Lorton fell and the match was in the balance.
But Russell White, who has been a real factor in Stony’s recent run of form, swayed it towards his side with a fine 51 from 72 balls.
The young all rounder was impressive with both bat and ball and looks to have a fair chance of following in the footsteps of older brother and Nottinghamshire slow left-armer Graeme White.
Nick Allen (14*) swatted a couple of late boundaries for Stony, who lost a flurry of wickets in the end as they chased a bigger total than the 209-9 that they ended up with. It was to prove more than enough in the end.
Stony’s form with the ball has been impeccable for most of the season and they now have a fine balance between seam and spin which is proving a problem for many of the sides they face.
This was one of their better performances of the summer with the ball against a side who had already gained all of their wins this season batting second. But Oundle had virtually no chance after a fine opening spell from Alex Strong and Steve Bellew reduced them to 51-4 inside 20 overs. Skipper Strong got the ball rolling for Stony, having Rick Andrew caught behind for a second ball duck from a quick, rising delivery which he tickled through to keeper Tom Moore.
After his heroics with the ball, Ramsden was then put in his plaice by Bellew who trapped him leg before for 8. Bellew has found wickets hard to come by on the seamers graveyard that is Campbell Park this summer, but doubled his tally for the season by taking 3-14 from ten overs, including the vital wicket of Oundle skipper Wake, who was bowled for 1.
Ben Groom was the most impressive of the visiting batsmen and his quick fire 33 gave the visitors just a brief sniff of a chance.
But White came back into the match with the ball and had Groom caught with his first delivery to put Stony back in total control.
His spell of 2-10 from seven overs followed on nicely from where Bellew and Strong left off and then it was down to the spinners to finish things off for the home side.
They did and in impressive fashion as Oundle were all out with just 133 on the board.
Lorton and Sohal both added to their runs earlier in the day with two wickets each to give Stony a maximum 30 points for the second time this season.
To round out the perfect weekend, there were also victories for Stony 2nds and 3rds.
Stony 2nds continued their impressive season in Division 2 with an easy eight wicket win over Brigstock. The home side batted first and were rolled over for a below par 130 thanks to three wickets from Oswin Peter and two each from Graham Simpson, Kevin Wijesinghe and Andrew Ellemore. In reply, Stony took 42 overs to reach their target with opener Prasanna Wijesinghe unbeaten on 40 at the close. The result leaves Stony in fifth place with seven wins to their name, but over 100 points behind the top two of Rothwell and East Haddon, who are all but promoted.
Stony 3rds completed a clean sweep of wins for the club in the NCL on Saturday with a 51 run win at Ostlers Lane against Isham 2nds. Stony racked up a huge 256 for 7 declared in 42 overs with runs for Nabeel Ahmed (63), Bill Goldburg (47) and captain Rob Arnold (46). Isham made a fair effort of the reply, finishing on 205 all out with Sean Willis the most impressive of the visiting batsmen with 48. Young off-spinner Ben Arnold’s spell of 4-41 from ten overs proved decisive for Stony.