Wolverton lost ground after Banbury draw

George Humphries
George Humphries

Wolverton lost further ground to leaders Buckingham in the race to win Cherwell League Division 1 after drawing with Banbury.

While there are a maximum of 100 points still remaining, Buckingham’s 46 point lead looks pretty solid at the top of the table, while Wolverton’s recent storm up the field sees them a further 15 points clear of Cumnor.

It would be a frustrating afternoon for Wolverton in more ways than one.

Opening the innings, Atif Akhlaq and Babar Raja looked in decent nick, and got Wolverton off to a good start.

Raja fell for 21, as Akhlaq reached his half century before losing his wicket with a score of 57.

There were also good contirubitions from Naeem Shahzad (26) and Zahoor Malik (37) as Wolves positioned themselves nicely for a huge total.

But between Olly Wright (5-35) and Paul Hill (3-40), Wolverton’s lower order failed to fire.

Five of Wolverton’s final seven batsmen registered ducks as they reached just 179 before losing the final wicket.

Shahzah Mohammed made a good start with the ball in hand though, taking out Banbury’s Olly Clarke and Edward Phillips cheaply.

Idrees Butt played his part in taking out the middle order, ending with figures of 3-27, but Banbury were beginning to dig their heels in.

With overs running out, Banbury were on the ropes nine down, and Wolverton desperate to get the decisive wicket. But a final stand between Neil Megson (1 not out) and Paul Hill (10 not out) frustrated the home side, holding on for a losing draw on 128-9.

The result means Wolves lost a further seven points in their hunt for top spot, with the gap now 46 points. But Cumnor’s defeat to Buckingham means Wolves picked up 11 more points than their chasers.

Great Brickhill slipped back to fifth place in Division 1 after a high-scoring encounter with lowly Tiddington saw them suffer a losing draw.

Nick Pykett was the key man for the visitors, hitting 82, but there were also a big score for Tom Rowley (61) as Tiddington ended their knock with a very respectable 263-7.

George Humphries, pictured bowling above, was the pick of the bowlers for Brickhill, taking 3-79.

In reply, Brickhill were guilty of losing their wickets too easily. Doug Aris held up one end with a patient 68, but partners came and went.

Matt Maule, having scored 31 with the bat, took 4-69 for Tiddington, as Brickhill lived on the edge, eventually going nine down before making it across the finish line for 202-9.

Picking up just seven points for their troubles, Brickhill slip back down to fifth in the standings, though are just 19 points adrift of Wolverton.