North Crawley edge closer to Division One title

Eggington 2nds vs Open University. Pic: Jo Cross
Eggington 2nds vs Open University. Pic: Jo Cross

North Crawley look set to retain their Division One championship next week after picking up their 12th victory of the season.

This week’s victims were relegation strugglers Milton Keynes City, who find themselves in the relegation zone with three matches remaining.

North Crawley batted first and got off to a steady start, despite losing top order wickets. Pete Barnes and Sam Chapman played neatly for their scores of 59 and 60 respectively as Crawley set 213-9. Mohammed Shahid took 4-46 for City.

Despite losing Imran Tahir cheaply, City made a good go of things and looked to be target with Munawar Shah (21) and Ahmed Mehboob (41) at the crease.

But after losing the pair, City collapsed as Steve Sharpe took out the middle order without remorse.

Sharpe ended with figures of 5-36 while the Bryce family - dad Richard (1-11) and sons Dean (2-19) and Carl (2-8) - took care of the rest as City were bowled out for just 109.

North Crawley lead the way by 69 points over Elstow, with a maximum of 90 still on the board.

Elstow kept up the pressure on the leaders though, beating New City by 85 runs.

Arshad Mahmood took 4-44 for New City as they held Elstow to 234-6, but they came up drastically short with the bat, skittled for 149.

Olney Town cruised to victory over Cranfield University with a great all-round display from Marcus Bates.

He took 4-29 with the ball, while Olli Knowles impressed with 5-15, as Cranfield were bowled out for 137.

In reply, Bates hit 51 and Harry Warn hit an unbeaten 46 as Olney cruised in, aided by 36 wides from Cranfield.

Joe Fairbrother took 4-37 as Milton Keynes eased to a 10 wicket win against Thurleigh.

After bowling out the visitors for just 110, MK made light work of the total, with Ian Hand unbeaten with 53.

Newport Pagnell suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Eaton Bray, losing by 109 runs.

And to make the result even more astounding, Eaton Bray scored just 141.

Newport bowler Brian Schmidt was in good form, taking 5-29 as only four batsmen made it into double figures for Eaton Bray.

Gary Ellerton, batting at nine, top scored for the visitors with 33, but it would be his contribution with the ball that would hail him as the hero of the match, as Eaton Bray were bowled out for 141.

No batsman in the Newport Pagnell innings made it to double figures - Mead’s 9 was the top score for the home side as Ellerton and Flecknell did the damage.

Flecknell took an incredible 4-3 in just two overs, while Ellerton took home figures of 5-19 as Newport Pagnell collapsed at the crease. Newport Pagnell were sent back to the pavilion with just 32.

Eggington Forresters made it back to the Division Two summit courtesy of a 158 run victory over New Bradwell.

Despite losing two quick wickets and finding themselves 38-2, Eggington recovered to score 296-7 - Yoginder Swaroop top scoring with 84.

In reply, New Bradwell made a similar start, but were 30-2 as Harshan Eranda Dantanarayana took 2-24 at the top of the innings.

New Bradwell’s innings almost mirrored Eggington’s, but the introduction of Mohammed Qamar (4-37) made light work of the middle order and put the result out of reach.

From 104-5, New Bradwell crumbled to just 138 all out.

A century from opener Tommy Coe (116) put Old Bradwell in control against Biddenham on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough for victory.

Setting 229-8, Graham Downard’s 4-23 set Old Bradwell up for a fine win, but they ran out of time as Biddenham held on for a draw.

Eggington Foresters 2nds and Open University played out a hotly contested draw at Mill Road, with both looking set to Division Three cricket again next season, pictured.

But it took a heroic batting performance from Imran Hussain to rescue a draw for Eggington.

OU were put in to bat, and despite losing an early wicket, Adnan’s 100 put OU in the right direction as they declared on 285-7.

And although they took nine wickets, a fine defensive display from Imran Hussain held up proceedings at the end for Eggington to rescue a draw.

Elsewhere in Division Three, Shenley Church End (198-8) lost to Bromham (200-2) by eight wickets, as North Crawley 2nds (78-3) made light work of Caddington (77 ).

New Bradwell 2nds (158-7) wobbled against bottom side Eaton Bray 2nds (156-6) but won by three wickets.

Milton Keynes 2nds (175-8) lost by four wickets to Milton Bryan 2nds (178-6) despite Ben Warren’s 82 not out, and New City 2nds (156) lost by 122 runs to Drayton Parslow (278-2).

In Division Five, leaders Olney Town 2nds (123)came up two runs short of the mark against North Crawley 3rds (125).

Newport Pagnell 2nds (147) beat Whitchurch (132) by 15 runs, and Great Brickhill 3rds (181-8) drew with Milton Keynes 2nds (128-9).

Local rivals Bletchley 3rds battled it out with Stony Stratford 4ths in Division Six. But after Bletchley were bowled out for just 116, Stony took little time to knock off the runs (117-3) to win by seven wickets.

In Division Seven, it was a low scoring encounter between Wolverton Town 3rds and Stoke Hammond 2nds.

After bowling out Stoke Hammond for just 97, Wolverton (100-7) lost seven wickets on their way to winning the match.