North Crawley begin title defence in earnest

Alex Walker
Alex Walker

North Crawley’s defence of the Four Counties Division 1 championship has got off to a flying start with back-to-back wins.

After beating New City in the league opener last weekend, Richard Bryce’s side were four wicket winners against Thurleigh on Saturday as they resume their place at the top of the table.

Colin Bonnett did the damage in the opening innings, destroying the Thurleigh middle order on his way to figures of 6-34 as the visitors were bowled out for 166.

In response, opener Alex Walker looked well on his way to a century but fell on 86 - not that it mattered in the end as North Crawley (167-6) made it home inside 40 overs.

Three wickets apiece for Paul Smith, Oli Knowles and Pete Sparrow helped Olney (80-3) comfortably see off Eggington Foresters (79) to move them in to fourth spot.

New City (144) picked up their first win of the season against Milton Keynes, while MK City narrowly lost their season opener to Elstow.

After bowling out Elstow for just 116, City fell agonisingly short, skittled for 110, losing out by six runs.

Aspley Guise are top of Division 2 courtesy of Joe Tomlin’s 65 not out against Milton Bryan on Saturday. Bowling out the home side for 123, Tomlin, batting at three, looking in great form as he top scored, helping Aspley guise to 125-5 and a five wicket win.

Cranfield University won their first game of the season to move into second place after beating Stoke Hammond by 55 runs.

Despite setting 153, Ravikiran Gollakota took 4-18 to help Uni bowl out the visitors for 98.

New Bradwell (93-4) were winners in their first game too, beating North Crawley 2nds (88) by six wickets, but Newport Pagnell’s (147-8) season got off to a bad start, as they lost to Bromham (148-9), despite a brilliant 50 from James Fletcher.

Old Bradwell (66-9) were low on numbers and runs as they lost to Buckland & Ashton Clinton (70-4).

Harry Singh’s unbeaten century saw Westcroft hit the top of Division 3 after a comprehensive 112 run win over Luton Caribbean.

Singh’s 100 not out, added to by Mustafa Iqbal’s 70, saw Westcroft declare on 232-6.

But with five ducks falling in the Luton innings, they crumbled to 120 all out.

Printers started the season in sensational form, smashing Eggington Foresters 2nds by 185 runs. Openers Ashok Andrew (87) and Sutha Jaya (50) got the ball rolling as Printers declared on 246-6, before making light work of Eggington’s batsmen, bowling them out for 61.

Open University (101-8) though could only manage a losing draw against Studham (144-8).

New City 2nds moved into second place in Division 4, despite disappointing with the bat against Milton Keynes 2nds. Jayan Parmar took 5-20 as New City were restricted to just 98, but similar figures of 5-24 for Kiranjit Singh saw MK fall agonisingly short on 92, as New City took the six run win.

Olney Town took their time against Stewkley Vicarage, but came home 10 wicket winners.

James Houghton took 4-10 as Stewkley were bowled out for 47. And though it took Olney 21 overs, openers Dave Hurley and Charlie Green saw them home (48-0). Shenley Church End’s game with Wilden was cancelled.

Westcroft 2nds were 109-run winners against New Bradwell 2nds to move into second in Division 5. Zaheer Zhan’s 111 guided Westcroft to 189-6, and Kashif Khan’s 4-17 saw Bradwell all out for 80.

Great Brickhill 3rds (129-3) beat North Crawley 3rds (125) by seven wickets to move into third.

In Division 6, MK City (202-6) are second after an 81 run win over Newport Pagnell 2nds (121).

Stony Stratford 4ths (154-7) beat Cublington 3rds 153-7) by three wickets to go third in the league, but Old Bradwell 2nds (90) were on the wrong end of a 116 run defeat against Little Horwood (206).

Bletchley Town are yet to face a ball in Division 7 after their opener with Buckland & Aston Clinton 2nds was cancelled.

Printers 2nds (59) were thumped by 221 runs by Ivinghoe & Pitstone 2nds (280-8), but Wolverton’s dramatic collapse - 46 all out, with Fawad Kiani scoring 40 - saw them lost to Stoke Hammond (47-2) by eight wickets.