Little change at the summit as Finedon stay on top

Will Sneath took four wickets as Finedon Dolben beat Oundle to remain on top of the NCL Premier Division
Will Sneath took four wickets as Finedon Dolben beat Oundle to remain on top of the NCL Premier Division

There was little change at the top of the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire Cricket League’s Premier Division as the early frontrunners were all victorious again.

Finedon Dolben did drop their first points of the season after Oundle elected to bat first in their encounter at Milton Road but the leaders made no mistakes as they picked up their fourth win from as many matches.

The hosts were dismissed for 132 and it would have been a whole lot worse had it not been for Richard Cunningham hitting an unbeaten 64 after coming in at number nine.

Before him, only one other batsman – Peter Foster (15) – had reached double figures as Will Sneath (4-36) and Primesh Patel (3-19) ripped through their top order while Adam Nunn also chipped in with 2-10.

Finedon were reduced to 70-3 in the reply but the run chase proved to be a formality as David Murphy (54no) and Shane Devoy (47no) saw Finedon over the line on 137-3 in the 27th over.

Reigning champions Peterborough are up to second after they took maximum points from their clash at Stony Stratford.

Despite the presence of Northamptonshire player Ben Duckett in the Stony side, Peterborough powered to a huge 143-run success.

David Clarke (88), Asim Butt (69) and Joe Dawborn (39no) were the main contributors in Peterborough’s 242-8.

And that proved to be more than enough as Dawborn took 4-14, including the key wicket of Duckett (32), and Paul McMahon claimed 3-17 as Stony were dismissed for just 99 in the reply.

Rushden also maintained their impressive start to the new season as they made it four wins in a row with a nine-wicket demolition of bottom markers Horton House in a match which required just 22 overs before a result arrived.

Horton’s decision to bat first after winning the toss proved to be a bad one as they were skittled out for just 64 with only two batsmen reaching double figures.

Skipper Simon Branston (5-25) and James Gaul (5-36) did the damage between them before Mikey Phillips hit an unbeaten 30 to ensure Rushden had things wrapped on 65-1 before the clock had even struck 2pm.

Old Northamptonians remain among the early frontrunners after a four-wicket victory at Brixworth.

Tom Heathfield (4-36) and Rob White (3-38) were the pick of the ONs bowlers as the hosts were bowled out for 149 as Will Thomas top-scored with 40.

It wasn’t plain sailing in the reply but Zaakir Husnain Khawaja (55no) held things together and got his team over the line on 151-6 in the 39th over.

Having lost their first two games of the season, Rushton now have back-to-back victories after they edged out Northampton Saints in a low-scoring affair at Station Road.

Sam Malton’s unbeaten 59 proved to be crucial for the hosts as they were dismissed for 134 with Mark Wolstenholme (4-40) and Nick Bell (3-28) performing well with the ball for Saints.

But that low total proved to be enough as Saints slumped from 81-3 to 108 all out in the reply.

Dan Harris hit 39 at the top of the order but the rest struggled as Marc Jackson took 5-21 while Marcus Steed (4-26) claimed the final wicket to clinch victory for Rushton.

Early-season strugglers Wollaston and Geddington are both still waiting for their first wins of the season after they shared the spoils.

Batting first, hosts Wollaston reached 216-5 from their 55 overs with opener Nicholas Mosley hitting 61 while Tom Howes (41) and Lewis Bates (30no) also made useful contributions.

Chris Murdoch (40) and Mark Neave (38) gave Geddington a decent start in the reply but wickets fell at regular intervals as Steve Musgrave (4-40) went to work.

But Geddington were able to see things out on 176-8 thanks to Connor McAlindon’s unbeaten 47.

In Division One, Burton Latimer sit on top of the table after a 30-point success at Peterborough 2nd while morning leaders Weekley & Warkton slipped to a one-wicket defeat at Finedon Dolben 2nd.