North Crawley bounce back with win over Eaton Bray
Reigning Four Counties champions North Crawley bounced back from their first defeat of the season last week with a comfortable win over Eaton Bray.
After losing their first game last time out against New Bradwell, Crawley made a tentative start against home side Eaton Bray, who were seeking their first win of the campaign.
Openers Wes Hosking and Paul Harris put on 62 for the opening wicket, before Harris fell for 13. Hosking continued to put on the runs though en route to 77 with Bray on 105-2.
But when James Flecknell (17) fell, it sparked a collapse of seven wickets for just 17 runs as Carl Bryce (5-52) tore through.
Josh Edwins’ late cameo saw him hit 22 before he was bowled, leaving Eaton Bray all out for 185.
In response, North Crawley took control from the off, putting on 118 for the opening wicket as Sam Marley (65) and Dean Adam (50) piled on the runs. Both fell to Nick Pearson though, who also took care of Rajet Nahar (17) and Sajee Chandrasegaram (0) as he claimed 4-14.
But North Crawley were always in control of the chase, easing to 186-5 and the win.
Their win has opened up a gap between the top three and the chasing pack, which is currently being led by Westcroft, who beat bottom club Luton Caribbean by five wickets.
Mir Mustafa did the business with the ball as he took 4-25, restricting the home side to just 167-9.
Patience was the name of the game for Westcroft in response, as they took their time in reaching the target, but did so with five wickets in hand, thanks to solid knocks from Kashif Khan (42) and Asad Shah (44).
Olney lost ground to Westcroft though as they were beaten by current pace-setters Elstow. Four wickets apiece for Cain Hamilton-Boyle and Jack Flynn left Olney reeling in a rain-shorted affair, posting 114-9 from their 24 overs. The response saw Elstow reach 118-5 with two balls remaining.
New Bradwell are just two points adrift of Olney now after they coasted past Milton Keynes by four wickets. MK managed to recover from a dreadful start, which saw them slump to 6-2, with Neil Gordon (23) and Tejas Patel (56) providing something of a respite. Yasir Hashmi though took 4-37 and Max Hitches 3-29 to make light work of the middle and lower order, bowling out MK for 150.
While Bradwell suffered a similarly difficult start, finding themselves at 20-2, Chris Timms hit 56 and John Mulholland an unbeaten 52 to help the home side to 155-6.
Next week, North Crawley host Biddenham, MK welcome Eaton Bray, Olney travel to Luton Caribbean and Westcroft face off against New Bradwell.
In Division 2, Newport Pagnell sit top of the table as they beat Aspley Guise. Despite a lower order collapse, 150-4 to 169 all out, Newport recovered to bowl Aspley Guise out for 108.
Printers (130-4) are second with a game in hand, having beaten New City 2nds (124).
North Crawley 2nds’ (189-4) rain-reduced game saw them beat Harlington (185-5), while Cranfield Uni (153-9) beat Soulbury (112) by a single wicket.