Four Counties League: North Crawley the team to beat

Victory celebrations: Old Bradwell beat Eggington Foresters to record their first win of the Division Two season on Saturday. It was not enough to lift them off the foot of the table though. Pictures: Colin Bridges
Victory celebrations: Old Bradwell beat Eggington Foresters to record their first win of the Division Two season on Saturday. It was not enough to lift them off the foot of the table though. Pictures: Colin Bridges

North Crawley are beginning to show their class at the top of Division One, but they left it late to secure victory over Elstow on Saturday.

Having restricted the home team to 153-8 from 44 overs, Crawley fired off the winning runs with four balls to spare to seal a one-wicket victory on 154-8.

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Thurleigh are the closest challengers to Crawley at this early stage of the season after they saw off Newport Pagnell by two wickets.

Paul Braddy (35) and Gary Hefferon (25) were the best of a bad Newport punch as they were bowled out for just 116, and despite the best efforts of Daniel Broad (4-27) the away side did enough to get home on 118-8.

MK City (120-7) currently occupy third place in the top division thanks to their win against Cranfield University (117) by three wickets, while Milton Keynes recorded their third win of the season with a six-wicket success over New City.

Joe Fairbrother (3-11) and Daniel Ramsell (3-8) both had a field day as City slumped to just 46 all out – Viral Shah (15) the best of their hitters. They tried to make a game of it with the ball in hand, but MK had enough to win on 50-4 – that man Shah adding to his runs with 3-18.

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The other game in the top tier saw Olney Town get the better of a winning draw with Eaton Bray.

Openers Marcus Bates (49) and Jack Jewson (43) led the way for Olney as they reached 204-8, but despite a fine spell from Stuart Keeping (3-19) the home side held on at 181-7.

Division Two

Old Bradwell stay bottom of Division Two despite their four-wicket triumph against Eggington Foresters.

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Daimo Kemp (4-33) helped to bowl Foresters out for 159, including taking the wicket of visiting danger man Shamas Mehmood for 87. There were also three wickets for Anthony Perry as the home team were set up nicely for their reply.

Ross Poulter (40) then led the way for Old Bradwell who sealed a morale boosting first win of the season on 163-6, as Tommy Coe offered the best support on 30, while Jimmy Daniel finished unbeaten on 26 and Ian Felce 24 not out.

Stoke Hammond (188) are up to third after they saw off Buckland and Aston Clinton (112) by 76 runs, while Aspley Guise (119) lost to Biddenham (140) by 21 runs.

Division Three

A sensational 133 not out from Sam Howe fired North Crawley 2nds to victory over Open University by 59 runs.

His fantastic effort, as well as support from Harmit Bahra (70 not out) helped the league leaders to a score of 273-2. The OU (214) gave it a good go, but despite the best efforts of Ivan Parkin (47) and Basil Lall (44), the home team completed a comfortable win – Ian Gillam (4-32) the pick of the bowlers.

Richard Fletcher was the hero for Shenley Church End as they picked up their first win of the campaign against Stewkley by six wickets.

His great knock of 83 got Shenley the victory on 154-4 after the hosts were reduced to 153-8, courtesy of Lal Patel (3-29) and Fletcher (2-11).

Division Four

Printers (159) look like the team to beat in Division Four after they maintained their superb start to the season by getting the better of a draw with Milton Bryan (121-9).

Westcroft are their closest rivals at the top of the division and kept up the pressure with a 229 run thrashing of Eaton Bray 2nds.

Harry Singh smashed 159 for Westcroft as they totalled 248-5 before Bray were sent packing for a mere 19 in reply.

New Bradwell (106) remain without a win after they went down to Harlington (218-6) by 112 runs, while Milton Keynes 2nds (145-5) saw off New City 2nds (142) by five wickets, as Ian Hand topped the scoring on 47.

Division Five

Olney Town 2nds stay top of Division Five despite going down to a shock defeat at the hands of Whitchurch.

A bad day at the office saw Olney total just 92, as Johan Botes top scored on 25, before the visitors sealed victory by three wickets on 93-7.

Great Brickhill 3rds (157-7) look set to leapfrog Olney to the top of the table if they slip up again, as they beat Elstow 2nds (155) by three wickets to go second.

Figures of 5-29 from Adam Harwood were the difference between the sides, and Gary Phillips (37 not out) fired the winning runs for Brickhill.

Kiran Singh hit 63 not out for North Crawley 3rds (185) in their winning draw with MK City 2nds (138-8). Connor Adams (17) also enjoyed a fine spell for the victors.

And Newport Pagnell 2nds (202-9) suffered a losing draw against Thurleigh (250-7) as their search for a win goes on.

Division Six

Steven Osborne took (5-30) but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 59 run loss for Stony Stratford 4ths (97) in their game against Wing with Wingrave (156).

Bletchley Town 3rds (150-7) suffered a losing draw at the hands of Winslow Town 2nds (198-8) while Little Horwood (32) lost to league leaders St Andrews (228-9) by 196 runs.

Division Seven

There was a four-wicket win for Wolverton Town 3rds (103-6) over Aspley Guise 2nds (99) and Stoke Hammond 2nds (191) beat Ivinghoe & Pitstone 2nds (65) by 126 runs – Dave Chamberlain (4-9) and Dave Connell (5-32) in fine form.