The obituaries were being written at 2pm (August 12).
Peterborough Town’s Northants Premier Division title challenge looked to be over when a team without one of their stars, Lewis Bruce, were reduced to 111-7 by Brixworth at Bretton Gate.
But, in this season when professional players are dominating local action like never before, Town’s own hired hand Paul McMahon knuckled down to rescue his team and their campaign.
With just five matches left after this one, and fellow challengers Rushton and Old Northamptonians in top form, a defeat would probably have left the city side among the also-rans, but McMahon’s 69 and crucial help from a wagging tail kept them in second place within striking distance of the top.
McMahon plundered boundaries galore in the final overs to push Town up to 180 and that proved 46 too many for a team who beat the city side earlier in the season, but relied too heavily on their own professional Callum Guest today.
Guest, dropped early on, has impressed playing Minor Counties cricket for Cambs this season and showed why by making a smooth unbeaten 75, but no-one else in the visitors’ side scored more than 13 enabling Joe Dawborn to take the final wicket of the match with eight balls to spare.
Dawborn (3-40) claimed the final two wickets to fall, but shared the bowling glory with opening partner Jamie Smith (3-26) and Danyaal (2-14).
Asim Butt cracked a stylish 49 for Town before falling to an outstanding boundary catch.
A. Butt c Lacey b Guest 49
D. Clarke lbw McLean 13
K. Judd lbw Mclean 12
A. Mitchell lbw Mclean 0
P. McMahon c Thomas b Guest 69
C. Milner b Guest 5
J. Dawborn c Lloyd b Starmer 1
S. Howard lbw Starmer 4
M. Danyaal c Lloyd b Starmer 10
D. Oldham not out 3
J. Smith not out 0
TOTAL (9 wkts) 180
Bowling: R. Mclean 15-3-38-3; A. Lacey 10-0-37-0; C. Guest 15-5-51-3; A. Starmer 10-0-52-3
A. Shulver st Milner b Smith 7
W. Thomas c Dawborn b Smith 5
C. Guest not out 75
M. Bell lbw Dawborn 4
J. Bowers lbw Smith 0
A. Lacey c Butt b McMahon 11
T. Cowley b Danyaal 13
H. Patel lbw Danyaal 0
C. Llloyd st Milner b Oldham 3
A. Starmer b Dawborn 4
R. Mclean c McMahon b Dawborn 0
Bowling: J. Dawborn 14.4-2-40-3; J. Smith 12-4-26-3; P. McMahon 12-2-38-1; M. Danyaal 7-2-14-2l D. Oldham 3-2-15-1.
All-rounder Ben Graves just about claimed the man-of-the-match honours as Oundle won by 120 runs at Geddington.
Opened Graves carried his bat for 149 not out as Oundle piled up 294-6 in their 50 overs and then claimed 4-18 as the home side were dismissed for 174.
Bashrat Hussain claimed the all-important wicket of home professional Amit Dhadwal for one and returned to take the final wicket of the game eight balls from the end.
Ben Smith struck 50 for Oundle before Pete Foster added 49 from just 40 balls.
Graves faced 158 balls and struck 21 fours and a six.
South African Hanno Kotze played his final game for Oundle this summer and signed off with 16 and 2-31.
GEDDINGTON lost to OUNDLE by 120 runs
Oundle 294-6 (B. Graves 149no, B. S,ith 50, P. Foster 49).
Geddington 184 (J, Thurman 55, B. Graves 4-18, P. Patel 2-22, H. Kotze 2-31, B. Hussain 2-55).