NORTHANTS PREMIER DIVISION: Peterborough Town beaten for the first time, Oundle fall at the hands of the leaders

Peterborough Town Kieran Judd was caught behind from this delivery in the match against Finedon. Photo: David Lowndes.
Peterborough Town Kieran Judd was caught behind from this delivery in the match against Finedon. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Peterborough Town lost their first Northants Premier Division game of the season yesterday (June 23) as Finedon prevailed by five wickets in a compelling contest at Bretton Gate.

It’s unusual to find two evenly-matched sides at this level these days and, although Finedon sealed victory with 11 balls to spare, it was a match decided on fine margins.

Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke was caught in the slips from this delivery in the defeat by Finedon. Photo: David Lowndes.

Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke was caught in the slips from this delivery in the defeat by Finedon. Photo: David Lowndes.

Town will point to a poor start with the bat which restricted their ability to properly punish some poor Finedon bowling late on - finding five decent bowlers at club level for these win/lose games is tough - and to some doziness in the field which included missing Finedon batsmen Drew Brierley badly at slip off the bowling of Matt Milner when he had just 16.

Brierley went on to dominate the Finedon pursuit of 219-9 playing positively throughout and running so aggressively he forced a few fumbles from the home fielders which also proved costly.

Brierley and Jack Keeping added 117 for the third wicket which took Finedon to 163 before the latter was superbly run out for 55 by Town skipper David Clarke.

But Brierley continued to 95 before he was dismissed by Lewis Bruce. Finedon scooted home soon afterwards before retiring to the visiting dressing room to deliver a rather cringeworthy victory song.

The presence of Bruce for just a second time this season was a real bonus for Town and he proved his value with the bat scoring a patient 56 to give Town something solid to defend. The sheer pace and improved accuracy of fast bowler David Sayer was just as pleasing - he flew the ball past the bat with alarming frequency after dismissing Finedon opener Sean Davis with a fearsome yorker in the first over of the reply.

Bruce repaired the early damage of 52-4 first with Asim Butt (43) and then in partnerships of 46 with David Sayer (23) and 53 with Chris Milner who contributed a run-a-ball 30. It was never easy to pierce a well-placed field - Bruce and Butt ‘only’ struck four boundaries apiece - which made some rather lazy running between the wickets rather surprising.

Finedon overtook Town into second place after this win.

Premier Division leaders Old Northamptonians survived a couple of scares before completing a five-wicket win at Oundle yesterday.

Steady batting led by fit-again James Kettleborough (47) led Oundle to 223-8 and two wickets for Tom Norman, including the prize scalp of Rob White for 32, left ONs at 57-2, but they rallied and eased home with 10 balls to spare.

- Peterborough Town host High Wycombe in a last-32 tie in the National Club KO Cup at Bretton Gate today (June 24, 1pm) report: Seeing is believing as Peterborough Town claim a miraculous win.

RESULTS: Saturday, June 23

- PETERBOROUGH TOWN lost to FINEDON by 5 wkts

Town 219-9 (L. Bruce 56, A. Butt 43, C. Milner 30, D. Sayer 23, D. Brierley 3-61, E. Hodgson 2-29, M. Evans 2-43).

Finedon 220-5 (D. Brierley 95, J. Keeping 55, V. Bajaj 2-38, D. Sayer 1-27, L. Bruce 1-58).

- OUNDLE lost to OLD NORTHAMPTONIANS by 5 wkts

Oundle 223-8 (J. Kettleborough 48, T. Norman 31, J. Bolsover 29, P. Foster 27).

Old Northamptonians 226-5 (S. Patel 55, W. Heathfield 53, T. Norman 2-30, C. Craig 2-35).