Peterborough Town were beaten in their crunch game in the Northants League Premier Division today (August 8).
The reigning champions lost by 27 runs at Rushden in the battle of the big guns after a very low scoring contest.
Bowlers ruled the roost as both sides were skittled out for low totals.
First league leaders Rushden went for 125 and then Town folded for just 98.
With six games remaining Town now have it all to do to stop a very impressive Rushden side from pinching their crown. Town went into today’s game just five points adrift of the leaders but the gap has widened to over 20 points. There can be no more slip-ups if they’re to make it a fourth title win on the trot and even then they’ll have to rely on somebody else upsetting Rushden.
And, certainly based on the determination Rushden showed today, that could take some doing.
The battle between Town’s oustanding bowlers Joe Dawborn and Paul McMahon and Rushden’s Sri Lankan star Chanaka Ruwansiri and Australian skipper Simon Branston was eargerly anticipated.
And it was spin king McMahon who won it. He got rid of Ruwansiri, the division’s leading run scorer, for 30 and then saw off Branston for a duck.
McMahon, who claimed 11 wickets for Cambridgeshire at the start of the week, kept up the good work, claiming four more Rushden wickets to finish with the outstanding figures of 6-21 off 10.4 overs.
Dawborn and Lewis Bruce picked up two wickets apiece and the hard work appeared to have been done as Rushden were demolished in 32.4 overs.
But the home team proved just as deadly with the ball, especially Branston.
He opened the bowling and picked up wickets in each of his first four overs. He eventually finished with a 5-49 haul and received good support from Mudassar Hussain Ansari, who completed the Town demolition with a 5-12 stint off six overs.
B. Paine c Milner b Dawborn 18
M. Phillips lbw McMahon 23
C. Ruwansiri c Dawborn b McMahon 30
L. Spears b Dawborn 10
C. Davis c Young b McMahon 7
S. Branston c Sayer b McMahon 0
S. Kumar lbw Bruce 11
O. Warwick c Butt b McMahon 0
T. Smith lbw Bruce 2
M. Ansari not out 9
J. Gaul lbw McMahon 12
Bowling: J. Dawborn 10-2-53-2; J. Smith 6-2-25-0; P. McMahon 10.4-5-21-6; L. Bruce 6-0-25-2.
A. Butt c Phillips b Branston 2
D. Clarke lbw Branston 4
T. Young c Ruwansiri b Branston 6
M. Howard c David b Ansari 24
D. Sayer c Phillips b Branston 5
P. McMahon b Ansari 14
L. Bruce lbw Ansari 0
C. Milner c Phillips b Ansari 19
J. Dawborn lbw Branston 11
J. Smith not out 2
K. Jones st Phillips b Ansari 5
Bowling: J. Gaul 5-0-21-0; S. Branston 13-2-49-5; O. Warwick 3-1-13-0; M. Ansari 6-2-12-5.
Oundle compiled a useful 280-5 at home to Geddington but had to settle for the draw.
Zeeshan Manzoor led the way for Oundle with 76 not out, Mark Hodgson made 63 and Ben Groom 47.
Geddington were 160-7 at the close. Bashrat Hussain took 3-26.
Peterborough Town seconds also drew at home to Wellingborough in Division One.
Wellingborough batted first and made 217-7 with Daniel Oldham taking 3-49 and Town were 145-9 in reply. Kyle Medcalf’s 61 formed the backbone of the innings.