Peterborough Town hit by an Oundle Town batting blitz before making ECB Club Championship progress against Bourne Town

Conor Craig in action during his rapid innings of 67 for Oundle Town against Peterborough Town. Photo David Lowndes.Conor Craig in action during his rapid innings of 67 for Oundle Town against Peterborough Town. Photo David Lowndes.
Conor Craig in action during his rapid innings of 67 for Oundle Town against Peterborough Town. Photo David Lowndes.
​Peterborough Town’s ‘big weekend’ lived up to its billing with two tension-packed nail-biting derbies at Bretton Gate.

The city side were hit by a stunning late batting surge to lose their Northants Premier Division clash with Oundle by four wickets on Saturday.

But they recovered from that disappointment, and shrugged off irritating injury issues, to beat Bourne by five wickets in the third round of the ECB Club Championship on Sunday.

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That win in a low-scoring contest moved Town into an area final – essentially a last 32-tie – at home to Essex Premier League side Wanstead & Snaresbrook on Sunday, June 16.

Tommy Simeons of Oundle Town is bowled by Peterborough Town's Jamie Smith. Photo David Lowndes.Tommy Simeons of Oundle Town is bowled by Peterborough Town's Jamie Smith. Photo David Lowndes.
Tommy Simeons of Oundle Town is bowled by Peterborough Town's Jamie Smith. Photo David Lowndes.

Town have never gone beyond that round in the competition and lost to the same opponents at the same stage a couple of seasons ago.

Town are performing solidly given the regular negative medical bulletins. Opening bowlers – and the team’s captain and vice-captain – Nick Green and Costello are now out for eight and four weeks respectively, while Kyle Medcalf, fresh from a fine 64 against Oundle pulled out of the Bourne game hours before kick-off with a minor niggle.

But the back-up boys performed well with Jamie Smith (3-20) delivering his second excellent spell of the weekend and Sreehari Subramonian (26no) steering Town home in partnership with Scott Howard (28no) after Town had slumped to 50-5 in pursuit of Bourne’s 107 all out, of which Jonathan Cheer struck 52.

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Colin Cheer (3-27) and Corey Young (2-28) had caused a few palpitations in the home camp, but once they completed their allocation of overs the pressure eased and Town rattled home.

Lachie McMillan bowling for Peterborough Town v Oundle Town. Photo David Lowndes.Lachie McMillan bowling for Peterborough Town v Oundle Town. Photo David Lowndes.
Lachie McMillan bowling for Peterborough Town v Oundle Town. Photo David Lowndes.

The previous day Oundle looked like they had left themselves too much to do after crawling to 59-2 at the halfway stage of a chase of 246 in 50 overs.

But, post-drinks, captain Mark Hodgson and Conor Craig, who must be the best all-rounder in the Premier Division, started an assault on a depleted bowling line-up which saw Oundle home with seven balls to spare.

Hodgson made 73, while Craig scored 67 from just 53 balls by using his entire vast repertoire of shots.

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And even after they departed Billy Amas, Harrison Craig and Sam Batten all batted powerfully against a Town team who didn’t help themselves with some shoddy fielding.

Town had grafted hard against some outstanding left-arm slow bowling from Harrison Craig and David Foster before opening up to reach a respectable total.

David Clarke, who will now skipper the side until Green returns, delivered an ‘old school’ knock full of patience and good running as he hit just three boundaries in his 67. Medcalf struck two big sixes in his innings during a fifth-wicket stand of 109 with Clarke.

Zeeshan Manzoor had earlier blasted a typically entertaining 42 from just 34 balls.

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It was a first defeat of the season for Town who also slipped from first to third, just four points ahead of fourth-placed Oundle. Both will be concerned that hat-trick seeking champions Finedon have moved to the top.

Town are at last season’s runners-up Brigstock, who are currently struggling, on Saturday when Oundle host Rushden & Higham, a team with a couple of dangerous hitters.