MILTON Keynes City lost ground on Four Counties League Division One leaders North Crawley on Saturday after they suffered a losing draw to New Bradwell.
Unfortunately for City, North Crawley show no signs of slipping up and made light work of beating Olney Town by 53 runs. Openers Stewart Phillipson (55) and Alex Walker (34) soon paved the way for a big score for the leaders.
It never came though as the rest of Crawley’s order faltered leaving them done and dusted on 188 – five bowlers all claiming two wickets for Olney, with Paul Smith (2-25) the best of them.
However, Richard Bryce (4-30) and Sam Murphy (3-0) soon put an end to Olney’s hopes of victory as the hosts were downed for 135, despite the best efforts of Paul Gallyot who reached 57 before falling LBW to Bryce.
New Bradwell made 253 against MK City thanks to great knocks from Allen Bridgeman (52) and Harry Singh (51), while Paul Loveland (3-59) was the pick of the bowlers. Despite a great effort in reply, City fell just short on 236-9, with Chris Timms (67) leading the way.
Not even a superb bowling spell from Newport Pagnell’s James Fletcher was enough to prevent Milton Keynes from winning by 47 runs at Willen Road.
Fletcher returned (5-36) as Newport restricted MK to 192-9, with Dharmesh Mistry leading the scoring for the away side on 51. But it wasn’t enough as MK bowled Newport out for 145, with Brian Schmidt their top scorer on 34 to leave them second from bottom.
New City got the better of Cranfield University when the two teams met in Division Two. After being put in to bat Cranfield made 197, thanks largely to the efforts of their lower order who put some valuable runs on the board after an early collapse, with Kaival Patel the pick of the bowlers taking 4-31.
But New City got the win to lift them to third in the table, opener Ashish Ratia hitting an excellent 72 not out while the majority of the rest fell around him and his side reached 199-7 to win it by three wickets.
Old Bradwell are still looking for their first win of the season, and will probably have thought they were going to get it when they bowled leaders Eggington Foresters out for just 139 thanks to an excellent display by Danny Gascoyne who claimed 6-34, while Greg Poulter bagged two of his own.
But Eggington have a 100 per cent record this season for a reason – that reason being a superb bowling attack which left Old Bradwell devastated for just 99, Nawaz Khan (4-19) doing the most damage for the leaders.
That 40-run loss leaves Old Bradwell second from bottom, with only Shenley Church End below them. Shenley’s poor start to the season also continued when they went down to a losing draw against Milton Bryan. Shenley hanging on with 174-9 after Milton Bryan had set 216-8.
Open University are still the team to beat in Division Three and New Bradwell failed to get close to doing that as they went down by five wickets. Bradwell hit 196-5 – with Peter Cook top scoring on 53 – before OU cruised home on 197-5, with Mohammed Sohail Not (55no) the main run scorer for them.
Behind OU in second place are North Crawley 2nds (280-3) who comfortably thrashed struggling Eaton Bray (69) by 211 runs. Crawley’s Paul Mitford fired off a marvellous 169 to equal a club record before bowlers Richard Braybrook (5-3) and George Gresty (4-3) produced the goods.
Third placed Willen (192) beat Wilden (134) by 58 runs as Stuart Atkins (5-15) was the star, and Stoke Hammond (187) earned a winning draw against Stewkley Vicarage (112-6).
Division Four strugglers MK 2nds and Newport Pagnell 2nds shared the spoils when they met, with Ian Hand’s knock of 111 the highlight in a game that saw MK reach 265-5 before Newport held on for a draw at 143-8.
New City 2nds were knocked off top spot in Division Five thanks to an eight wicket thrashing by Olney Town 2nds. A mere 101 was all New City could muster as Sam Haslam (4-19) tore through the home order. And Olney sealed their win in comfortable fashion with Dave Hurley (41) leading the way to a total of 102-2.
Crawley Green Nomads (71) now lead the way in the fifth tier after a 10 wicket thrashing of bottom side Winslow Town 2nds (70), while Stony Stratford remain hot on their heels despite losing out to Old Bradwell 2nds. Stony were bowled out for 115 before Bradwell won by six wickets on 119-4.
Great Brickhill (99-5) top Division Six after their five wicket win over Thurleigh 2nds (98).