Peterborough Town were robbed of top spot in the Northants Premier Division when their match was Rushton was abandoned in farcical circumstances yesterday (June 13).
The umpires called a halt with Town requiring just eight to win from eight overs with five wickets in hand. Rain was the official verdict which surprised and irritated Town players who had performed in murky light and drizzle for most of the previous five hours.
“The conditions were far from ideal from the start,” Town skipper Lewis Bruce stated. “But the teams just wanted to play and the umpires agreed so we started late ad decided just to get on with it.
“It was murky all afternoon and there was always light rain about, but just as we looked set to win the umpires decided the rain had become heavier so they took us off. Within minutes the rain stopped, the light improved, but the umpires just went onto the field and pulled th stumps out without saying anything to us.
“There was still time left in the game, especially as we could have won in another two balls, but unfortunately it was taken out of our hands.”
It was a shame for Town who had bossed the match after losing the toss. No other Premier Division matches started so the 25 points available would have taken them top of the league by two points.
It’s a pity then that Town didn’t press home their advantage more swiftly with bat and ball in a match shortened to 36 overs per side. Rushton were 36-4 and 63-5 before recovering to post 130 all out and Town were 56-0 before the home side’s bowlers tightened up their line and length.
As it was professional Paul McMahon (29no) was about to see Town over the line when the umpires intervened.
McMahon had earlier taken 3-51, but was over-shadowed by paceman Joe Dawborn (4-19), while rookie seamer Kieran Jones (2-17) also bowled well.
Asim Butt (34) batted with good discipline at the top of the Town order in conditions that hardly suited batsmen.
And just to increase Town’s sense of injustice, Rushton collected more points (11-9) thanks to a points system that betrays a complete lack of logic.
Town host Rushton in the the second round of the Northants Twenty/20 Cup at Bretton Gate on Tuesday (June 16, 6pm).
D. McGovern b Dawborn 20
B. Mansell c Howard b Smith 0
J. Bindley c Dawborn b McMahon 26
A. Reynoldson c Jones b Dawborn 0
A. Araf lbw Dawborn 0
M. Steed b Jones 18
D. Bendon c Dawborn b McMahon 30
B. Armer b Dawborn 18
M. Jackson lbw Jones 0
A. Babar st Young b McMahon 9
S. Malton not out 0
Bowling: J. Dawborn 9.2-1-29-4; J. Smith 7-0-28-1; P. McMahon 9-0-51-3; K. Jones 7-3-17-2.
A. Butt c Jackson b Reynoldson 34
D. Clarke b Reynoldson 19
T. Young lbw Reynoldson 0
M. Howard c Reynoldson b Bendon 19
L. Bruce c Babar b Steed 3
P. McMahon not out 29
J. Dawborn not out 0
TOTAL (5 wkts) 123
Bowling: M. Jackson 5-0-22-0; D. McGovern 2-0-17-0; M. Steed 11-1-30-1; A. Reynoldson 11-0-21-3; D. Bendon 2-0-18-1.
No other Premier Division match started including Oundle’s fixture at Brixworth.