Town have a slender two-point lead over Finedon at the top of the table and the teams clash at Bretton Gate next Saturday (July 23).
The arrival of top all-rounder Nick Green is therefore well-timed and he marked his Town debut with a stylish run-a-ball 85 at Rushden. Chris Milner’s fine form continued with 64, while there was a top score of the season 75 for Sulemain Saleem as Town declared on 284-4 in 46 overs.
Rushden, who have now dropped to the bottom of the table, offered little resistance once seamer Mark Edwards (4-30) got into his stride and three late wickets for Josh Smith helped rush the home side out for just 129.
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The top two have shot clear of the rest as the teams who started the day third-sixth all lost including Oundle who returned from Brigstock without a single point to their name. Brigstock can be a difficult place to bat and so it proved for Oundle who slumped from 46-1 to 79 all out as Peterborough-based Saif Mohammed bagged 5-5 with his off-spin.
Brigstock lost just one wicket in reply in a game that lasted less than 42 overs.
Ben Wright’s 67 from just 37 balls propelled leaders Bourne to a four-wicket win at Spalding in the Lincs Premier Division. Earlier Ollie Dring had struck 89 of Spalding’s 174 all out.
Market Deeping have stormed into the top half of the table after a mgnificent seven wins in a row. Josh Smith (57) top scored in Deeping’s 297-6 before speedster Hayatullah Niazi claimed four wickets in Woodhall Spa’s reply of 168 all out. Niazi, a Norwegian international, is the division’s leading wicket-taker with 36 at a miserly average of 10.44 apiece.
Josh Bowers bashed an unbeaten ton and Gary Freear picked up four wickets as Wisbech maintained control at the top of Cambs Division One with a comfortable win at Newmarket, while Eaton Socon moved into second after edging a tight contest with Ramsey.
March eased their relegation fears with a thrilling four-run win in a high-scoring clash at Histon. A second wicket stand of 223 between centurians Alex Millard (124) and Aaron Visser (112 from 94 balls) pushed March up to a 50-over total of 316-7 which proved just enough.
Bottom club Stamford’s miserable season continued with a heavy defeat at Old Leysians.
There was a shock 9-run defeat for Division Two promotion chasers Castor at home to Waresley despite an excellent all-round display from Connor Parnell (5-30 & 49no) and 76 from opener Tom Beale, while Ufford Park were pipped by three runs at Southill Park who have now leapfrogged Castor into second place.
Northants Premier Division
Brigstock 80-1 beat Oundle 79 (M. Hodgson 38, M. Saif 5-5) by 9 wkts
Peterborough Town 284-4 (N. Green 85, S. Saleem 75, C. Milner 64) beat Rushen & Higham 129 (M. Edwards 4-30, J. Smith 3-8, M. Danyaal 2-55) by 155 runs.
Lincs Premier Division
Market Deeping 297-6 (J. Smith 57, D. Sargent 43, J. Hook 37, C. Gillett 36, A. Hafeez 33) beat Woodhall Spa 168 (H. Niazi 4-35, A. Hafeez 2-44) by 129 runs.
Bourne 177-6 (B. Wright 67, C. Wilson 37no, N. Atapattu 3-37, H. Decamps 3-51) beat Spalding 174 (O. Dring 89, R. Bentley 4-39, B. Wright 2-23, C. Cheer 2-28) by 4 wkts.
Cambs Division One
Eaton Socon 185-7 (E. Durrant 3-34, M. Saunders 2-24) beat Ramsey 184 (M. Cafferkey 59, by 3 wkts
March 316-7 (A. Millard 124, A. Visser 112) beat Histon 312-9 (U. Ranathunga 3-32, S. Clarke 2-44) by 4 runs
Old Leysians 281-9 (A. Bramley 123, S. Chamberlain 2- 46) beat Stamford 94 (A. Birch 40) by 187 runs
Wisbech 258-6 (J. Bowers 105no) beat Newmarket 172 (G. Freear 4-20, R. Clark 3-21, C. Clark 2-22) by 86 runs
Cambs Division Two
Waresley 207-8 (C. Parnell 5-30) beat Castor 199-8 (T. Beale 76, C. Parnell 49no) by 9 runs
Southill Park 249 (J. Harrington 3-30, M. Raheel 2-44) beat Ufford Park 246 (T. Cooper 66, A. Larkin 31, E. Cox 30) by 3 runs.