Inevitabilities when Peterborough Town play Finedon in the Northants Premier Division are debates on the use of professionals and the standard of umpiring.
Finedon, the undisputed top dogs of a recent era, pride themselves on making no matchday payments to players, although they have forked out an air fare and accomodation expenses for an overseas performer who bowled five overs and batted number 11 at Bretton Gate yesterday (June 24).
And no-one at Peterborough Town hides the fact that three city men have been tempted to the club, partly at least, by financial incentives, although it should be noted the top two run scorers yesterday pay to play as do those responsible for taking seven of the 10 Finedon wickets as Town claimed a most important win by 54 runs.
That win could have been reversed according to some in the visitors’ camp if umpiring decisions had gone in their favour, most notably two lbw shouts against Town skipper David Clarke early-ish in his rather splendid innings of 90. Finedon were also unhappy to see a promising innings from Sean Davis cut short by a disputed catch to short leg off the bowling of pro Paul McMahon.
Town had gripes too, but kept their composure better, particularly in the latter stages when Finedon collapsed from 120-3 to 165 all out after getting themselves in a position to pass Town’s 219-9. Wickets fell in a clatter mostly to Lewis Bruce (6-50) and thanks to some fine catching from Clarke whose alertness and anticipation in the field was very impressive.
Earlier Clarke struck 13 fours in an innings of 114 balls and excelled in stands of 70 for the first wicket with Asim Butt (33) and of 83 with Bruce (41) for the fourth wicket.
Clarke’s departure led to a poor finish with the bat from Town, something they will need to address, but with spinners Bruce (16 wickets in his last three spells for Cambs and Town) and McMahon back in harness, most totals in excess of 200 will be defendable.
Town are now one point off the top in second place behind Rushton who drew a high-scoring contest with Northampton Saints yesterday.
It’s another big day for Town today (June 25) as they travel to High Wycombe in an area final of the National Club KO. Butt has become available to play late in the day, but Bruce is away with Cambs for a friendly T20 competition.
A. Butt b Parker 33
D. Clarke c Hofbauer b Todd 90
K. Judd lbw Todd 12
A. Mitchell c Todd b Hodgson 2
L. Bruce lbw Todd 41
P. McMahon c Parker b Goode 1
S. Howard c Keeping b Goode 0
J. Dawborn not out 18
C. Milner b Goode 7
D. Oldham run out 4
TOTAL (9 wkts) 219
Bowling: E. Hodgson 15-1-69-1; C. Goode 12-1-49-3; T. Smith 5-2-22-0; J. Parker 3-0-17-1; C. Todd 15-1-58-3.
J. Keeping c Butt b Dawborn 9
S. Davis c Mitchell b McMahon 35
G. Evans st Milner b Oldham 55
J. Parker c Mitchell b Bruce 5
G. Hofbauer b Bruce 21
C. Berrill not out 14
D. Brierley b Bruce 4
C. Todd c Clarke b Bruce 9
C. Goode c Clarke b Bruce 1
E. Hodgson c and b Bruce 4
T. Smith c Clarke b McMahon 0
Bowling: J. Dawborn 8-1-28-1; J. Smith 5-2-18-0; P. McMahon 13-3-38-2; L. Bruce 14-1-56-6; D. Oldham 4-0-23-1.
Oundle threw away two winning positions as they suffered a second successive Northants Premier Division defeat.
Oundle slipped to a four-run loss at reigning champions Old Northamptonians to drop two places to fourth in the table.
ONs were 79-6. but escaped to post 152 all out before Hanno Kotze (44 from 26 balls) and Ben Graves (21 from 25 balls) gave Oundle a flying start in reply.
But from 70-1 Oundle slipped to 148 all out with the tail just failing to get them home.
ONs are now third, level on points with second-placed Peterborough Town.
Peterborough and Oundle meet in a Northants Twenty/20 quarter-final at Bretton Gate on Tuesday (June 27, 6.15pm).
OLD NORTHAMPTONIANS beat OUNDLE by 4 runs
Old Northamptonians 152 (P. Harris 38, B. Graves 5-50, P. Patel 3-21).
Oundle 148 (H. Kotze 44, B. Graves 21, R. White 4-39k, W. Heathfield 3-54).