Rushden clinched the Northants Premier Division title today (September 12) even though they were beaten for the first time this season at Oundle Town.
The league leaders started the day requiring just two points to confirm their status as the best side in the competition by some distance and they had those wrapped up as soon as they dismissed Alex Martin for a well-crafted 45. Complacency may well have set in as Oundle went on to win by a massive 146-run margin.
Not that second-placed Peterborough Town were putting them under pressure, They were shot out for a paltry 80 on their way to a seven-wicket defeat at third-placed Finedon. It was a fourth defeat in six games for Town who are still likely to finish runners-up as they host rock-bottom Geddington on the final day of the season (September 19).
Zeeshan Manzoor was again Oundle’s big-hitting star. It’s been an outstanding first season at this level for Manzoor and he smashed an unbeaten 80 from just 44 balls which included seven huge sixes. Oundle eventually closed on 262-7 with Richard Cunningham (40no) scoring good late runs.
Rushden’s response was rather tame. They were hustled out for just 116 in under 30 overs, losing their last seven wickets for just 32. Skipper Bash Hussain and Ben Graves claimed four wickets apiece.
Peterborough Town were destroyed by seamer Will Sneath who returned outstanding figures of 8-41 from 17 overs. He once took nine wickets in a game against Town at Bretton Gate.
Captain Lewis Bruce top scored with 22 before Town lost their last six wickets for just six runs.
Joe Dawborn did take a wicket with the first ball of the Finedon innings, but the home side sauntered home in less than 20 overs as Town’s dismal finish to the season continued.
D. Clarke b Sneath 8
L. Bruce c Carroll b Sneath 22
A. Butt lbw Sneath 5
M. Howard c Davis b Sneath 13
T. Young lbw Goode 19
P. McMahon c Berrill b Sneath 4
C. Milner not out 5
D. Sayer lbw Sneath 0
J. Dawborn c Berrill b Sneath 0
U. Naveed b Sneath 0
K. Jones b Carroll 0
Bowling: W. Sneath 17-7-41-8; P. Patel 6-2-16-0; C. Goode 10-3-18-1; A. Nunn 1-0-2-0; J. Carroll 0.5-0-0-1.
S. Davis c Butt b Dawborn 0
E. Cox c Milner b McMahon 21
C. Berrill run out 4
D. Brieley not out 40
C. Todd not out 13
TOTAL (3 wkts) 84
Bowling: J. Dawborn 7-1-35-1; D. Sayer 4-0-17-0; P. McMahon 5-1-18-1; L. Bruve 2-0-6-0; U. Navceed 1-0-6-0.
Oundle 262-7 (Z. Manzoor 80no, A. Martin 45, R. Cunningham 40no, J. Bolsover 27, B. Groom 25).
Rushden 116 (B. Graves 4-32, B. Hussain 4-35