A short game at Bretton Gate today (May 20), but one that emphasised a weakness of many present-day club cricketers.
Horton House travelled to face Peterborough Town in the battle of the top two in the Northants Premier Division in fine fettle having scored a glut of runs in their opening four matches.
But they’d been batting on fast-paced, flat wickets rather than the sluggish surface they found at the Gate. Rain had seeped under the covers at one end of the pitch making life treacherous, but far from impossible for batsmen prepared to play with patience and determination.
Instead, even though the top-flight’s top-rated bowler Joe Dawborn was hurling the ball into the damp area, Horton’s young batting line-up surrendered with a series of ambitious and ill-advised drives.
They crumbled to 15-5 before a partial recovery to 72 all out in just 30 overs and four balls. If they’d detained Town for a few more overs they might well have escaped with a draw rather then a six-wicket defeat as rain made regular visits to the ground.
It looked bleak for Town at 36-1 as the weather closed in and forced an hour’s delay, but when brightness returned the city side cantered home to stretch their lead at the top to nine points.
Dawborn predictably feasted on some raw meat to claim 6-29 from 15 overs with opening partner Jamie Smith battling gamely against a strong wind to pick up two wickets.
Asim Butt’s 32 was Town’s batting highlight as they eased home inside 20 overs.
E. Cox c and b Dawborn 9
B. Wall c Butt b Smith 0
J. King c Clarke b Dawborn 0
M. Wolstenholme lbw Dawborn 0
R. Turner lbw Smith 1
E. Ruff b Dawborn 15
A. Chalcraft b Dawborn 18
W. Knibbs not out 14
H. Charter lbw Dawborn 0
T. Knibbs lbw McMahon 1
T. Kilby c Judd b Danyaal 4
Bowling: J. Dawborn 15-4-29-6; J. Smith 8-3-28-2; P. McMahon 7-2-14-1; M. Danyaal 0.3-0-0-1.
A. Butt b Wolstenholme 34
D. Clarke lbw Wolstenholme 12
L. Bruce lbw W. Knibbs 5
A. Mitchell not out 10
J. Dawborn b W. Knibbs 1
K. Judd not out 3
TOTAL (4 wkts) 73
Bowling: M. Wolstenholme 10-2-24-2; T. Kilby 4-0-23-0; W. Knibbs 5.2-0-25-2.
Oundle’s dreamy start to the Premier Division season continued with a six wicket win at Finedon.
The home side started well by reaching 64-0 from their opening 10 overs, but became rather bogged down, eventually posting 202-3 in their 50 overs.
A typically brisk start from Hanno Kotze (82 from 66 balls) made that Finedon total appear inadequate and after a mini-slump to 136-4 Phil Adams (36no) and Ben Smith (35no) saw Oundle home and into second place behind Peterborough Town.
It was the first time Oundle had beaten Finedon in a Premier Division game.
Finedon 202-3 (S. Davis 95, C. Berrill 44no).
Oundle 203-4 (H. Kotze 82, P. Adams 36no, B. Smith 35no).