Butt’s big bash keeps Town in the thick of exciting title race

David Clarke in action against Rushton.
David Clarke in action against Rushton.
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It’s the most exciting Northants League Premier Division title race for years and Peterborough Town are right in the thick of it.

They welcomed league leaders Rushton to Bretton Gate on Saturday and it was Town who got the better of a drawn encounter.

They picked up 16 points to move above Rushton, who went home with just five points, but the new leaders are reigning champions Old Northamptonians after a crushing 10-wicket win over rock-bottom Wollaston.

So it now reads ONs top on 296 points, Town second on 293 and Rushton third on 289 and there are three more games each to play.

“I can never remember it being this exciting,” said Town skipper David Clarke.

“I wouldn’t like to say which one of the three teams has the easiest run-in. ONs play Rushton on the last day and obviously that will have a bearing. But ONs also have to go to Oundle - and that’s never easy - while we’ve got a tough away game at Finedon left.

“Anyone can win it. We’ve just got to make sure we get three positive results.

“And if we bat like we did on Saturday we’ll have a great chance of doing that.

“I was really pleased to take 16 points off Rushton - we batted them out of the game.”

Town amassed 274-5, thanks in the main to openers Asim Butt (130no) and Clarke (54), and that proved to be beyond Rushton’s reach.

After losing star opener James Kettleborough for 15 - clean bowled by Joe Dawborn - they settled for the draw at 174-5.

This Saturday (11.30am), Town are at home again. They play Northampton Saints and Clarke will be looking for a similar showing.

He added: “Saints are quite a dangerous side on their day. They have a couple of very good players who can swing a match so we’ve got to be at our best.

“I want 20 points this time, not 16, so we’ll need a complete performance. We’ve got to get all three departments right - batting, bowling and fielding.”

All-rounder Lewis Bruce is a doubt for the match. If he is unavailable then Daniel Oldham will step in.