City keep poised at the top as Newport’s poor form continues

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IT’S six defeats on the spin for Newport Pagnell, but they gave title challenging MK City a real scare when the two teams met in the Four Counties League on Saturday.

Newport have been in decline since beating Biddenham on the opening day of the Division One season, but the signs are good if their performance against an MK City side keeping pace with table toppers North Crawley is anything to go by.

After being asked to bat City made a terrible start, slumping to 7-2 as openers Chris Timms and Andrew John were out, the latter caught by James Mead off Gary Hefferon (2-24).

They recovered enough to set a modest target of 145-8 – with their number nine Mohammed Shahid top scoring on 27. But it proved enough for victory when Newport collapsed to just 115 in reply. Brian Schmidt led the way on 41 but only two others made it into double figures, with Pete Heady (4-28) returning the best bowling figures to seal a victory by 30 runs.

However, City will have been extremely frustrated by North Crawley’s inability to lose. They remain unbeaten and thrashed Elstow by eight wickets in their latest outing.

Four Crawley bowlers claimed two wickets – Dean Bryce (2-11) the best of them – as the away side were restricted to 133. And that was never going to be good enough as Alex Walker (71) fired Crawley to victory on 135-2.

New Bradwell are up to third in the table as they continue to improve. Bottom side Studham became their latest victims in a 74 run win, the hosts dismissed for 137 after Teemoor Alam hit an excellent 121 for Bradwell as they set a target of 211. Harry Singh (4-18) was then the pick of their bowlers.

Milton Keynes (231-5) sealed a winning draw over Olney Town (152-9) – Kaushik Sunkara’s 73 not out the highlight for MK.

New City MK (102-1) continue to keep pace with Division Two leaders Eggington and thrashed lowly Aspley Guise (99) by nine wickets to stay second. Arshad Mahmood (4-24) was the pick of their bowlers before opener Jay Singadia (46) fired City to victory.

Eggington (189) saw off the challenge of Cranfield (94) by 95 runs to remain top while Old Bradwell (202-8) recorded their first win of the season by seeing off Milton Bryan (200-8) by two wickets.

Shenley Church End (125-8) remain winless and rooted to the foot of the table following a losing draw against Aylesbury Town (217-4).

Division Three leaders Open University suffered a surprise defeat to Stoke Hammond by two wickets. Sardar Ahmad hit 86 as OU set a target of 207-6, and Stoke made it home with 213-8.

That defeat left the door open to second place Willen who were held to a winning draw at Eaton Bray 2nds – Willen reaching 198 before Bray held on at 105-7.

North Crawley 2nds (89) are third in the table but also failed to take advantage of OU’s slip by losing to New Bradwell 2nds (123) by 34 runs. Carl Ward the hero for Bradwell with 6-48.

Newport Pagnell 2nds (171-8) earned a winning draw against Harlington (143-7) in Division Four thanks to Liam Fox’s fine knock of 72 not out, but his side stay bottom. Meanwhile Milton Keynes 2nds (245-3) got the better of a winning draw with Eggington 2nds (189-9).

Stony Stratford (110-0) beat Elstow 2nds (108) by 10 wickets with openers Ben Ford (57) and James Partridge (43) unbeaten as their side go third in Division Five. Wolverton (171-8) beat Old Bradwell 2nds (125) by 46 runs and New City 2nds (187-7) beat Milton Bryan 2nds (186-9) by three wickets.

In Division Six, Bletchley (54) were beaten by Aylesbury Town 2nds (185) by 131 runs.