Wolves earn derby bragging rights

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LOCAL rivals Wolverton Town and Great Brickhill went head-to-head in Cherwell League Division Two, and it was Wolves who came out on top.

The two sides went into their derby game at Osborne Street with similar records this season, but with Brickhill slightly better off in mid-table. So the end result will probably be considered something of a surprise, with Wolverton winning comfortably by seven wickets.

Wolverton captain Jamil Raja won the toss and decided to field. His openers bowled really tightly and eventually the pressure paid off when Andrew Gosling had Brickhill danger man Arran Aris caught and bowled for 13.

That brought away skipper Graeme Carter to the crease. He batted 32 balls for his nine before chipping one to Raja at cover off the bowling of Zaheer Khan.

Just before the drinks break spin was introduced and Hakim Khan began to rip it on a turning Wolverton track and was proving unplayable. Colin Davson briefly countered with a quick fire 35, however he fell stumped to Hakim Khan (3-38).

Hakim Khan and Wasim Fayyaz really started to turn the screws, with Fayyaz taking three wickets in the 53rd over to leave Brickhill all out for 153. He finished with figures of 5-34 and left the visitors with an uphill task to maintain their fine form of late.

In reply Wolverton got off to a steady start before Michael Baker was caught at cover for five off the bowling of Pete Hastings. Youngsters Atif Akhlaq and Sean Potter began rebuilding, before Akhlaq was out for 19, LBW to the left arm spin of Doug Aris.

However, a patient yet very valuable partnership between Potter and Aky Hussain started to get Wolves back on track. The pair put on 89 before Potter fell for a well made 65, bowled by Doug Aris, and leaving 18 needed for victory.

That didn’t prove too difficult as Kieran Lampard and Aky Hussain saw Wolves home, with the latter finishing unbeaten on 51 as his side made 156-3.

Despite losing out Brickhill remain two places above Wolverton in fourth spot in the table. However, it turned out to be an incredibly frustrating weekend for Brickhill, who – after that defeat on Saturday – were due to take on Bledlow Village in the Buckinghamshire regional group final of the National Village Cup on Sunday.

The torrential rain meant that match was called off, meaning the tie has been switched to Bledlow and will now take place this Sunday. Regardless of the weather, Brickhill must turn up in south Bucks because, if abandoned again, the tie will be decided by a bowl off.

If they make it through Brickhill will take on the winners of the Essex and Suffolk regional group final in the next stage, with the ultimate prize a final at Lord’s in September.

Fortunately the weekend’s downpours didn’t arrive until Sunday, meaning a full fixture list in the Cherwell League. And a fine day for Wolves was made an extra bit better when their 2nds recorded an excellent 19 run victory at Long Marston 2nds in Division Six.

Batting first Wolves were all out for 156, with Colin Kightley (45) and Roger Garrini (32) leading the scoring. And in reply the visitors were indebted to their young bowler Haroon Malik who took three wickets in the very first over to get his side off to a great start. And that saw Wolves go on to bowl Marston out for a mere 137 – Malik finishing on 6-44, with good support from Glen Dickinson (3-24).

That leaves Wolves 2nds seventh in Division Six, with Great Brickhill 2nds fourth and Bletchley 2nds second. The latter lost out to leaders Horspath 3rds by five wickets after being restricted to just 148, while Brickhill were two wicket winners over Sandford 2nds. The away side were bowled out for 176 and a fine knock from James Woodhouse (67) got Brickhill home. Wolverton and Brickhill’s 2nds meet in another local derby this Saturday.

>> In the MK Midweek League there was a 21 run win for Speedline Warriors (126-7) over Wolverton Hawks (105-9) in the Premier Division, with Hafiz Majid of Speedline top scoring on 40.

Stoke Hammond (104-7) were beaten by Santander (196-4) in Division One by 92 runs, with James Fletcher the man of the match with an excellent 110 not out, and there was good support by Daniel Broad (52).