CRICKET: Dramatic derby success leaves St Ives on the brink of promotion while last-ball six keeps Ramsey in title race
- Credit: Archant
St Ives snatched a dramatic derby victory to move to within touching distance of promotion in Tucker Gardner League Division Two.
Ryan Withers’ table-topping men sneaked home by one wicket, and with seven balls to spare, in a low-scoring thriller against relegation battlers Huntingdon & District.
Faisal Khaliq took 3-21 to lead another impressive bowling effort from St Ives as they dismissed the visitors for just 117. Nikhil Kumpukkal, Shaun Asplin and Tom McCarthy all chipped in with two wickets apiece.
But they made hard work of passing a seemingly modest tally with the final pair of Steve Smith and Shaun Asplin eventually edging them to victory.
Umair Tariq top-scored for St Ives with 30 as they recovered from being 59-5 to prevail while Huntingdon & District saw their three-match winning run come to an end.
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The win leaves St Ives 57 points clear of fourth-placed Kimbolton and almost assured of promotion with just 72 points left to play for in three remaining fixtures. Third-placed Saffron Walden 2nds are not eligible for promotion.
And St Ives are now hot favourites to go up in style as champions. They have a 19-point buffer over second-placed March, who were beaten by Saffron Walden 2nds yesterday.
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Huntingdon & District sit one place and 10 points above the drop-zone.
Kimbolton climbed into fourth spot by beating the team who started the weekend in that position – Cambridge Granta 2nds – by six wickets.
The locals eased past a target of 219 as Rory Fenton shone with bat and ball. He hit an unbeaten 105 after taking 3-9.
Warboys jumped out of the danger zone courtesy of a vital win at Ufford Park.
Chris Whitfield steered them to a four-wicket success with an unbeaten 46 after Josh England’s fine return of 4-37 helped to dismiss the hosts for 132.
It leaves Matt Duncan’s side 11 points above the trapdoor as they battle to avoid a second successive relegation.
There was also high-drama in Tucker Gardner League Division One as Jon Cade smashed a final-ball six to keep Ramsey’s title hopes alive.
Cade (30no) and Mark Edwards (26no), both better known as bowlers, pulled their side out of a pickle with a terrific stand of 56 to secure a two-wicket triumph at Saffron Walden.
Cade had earlier taken two wickets as Ramsey restricted their hosts to 221-7. Dean Jones was the pick of the bowlers with 3-42.
Ramsey captain Michael Cafferkey continued his fine run of form with the bat when following up back-to-back centuries with a 50.
Younger brother Jordon Cafferkey also contributed 41, but victory looked unlikely with Ramsey reduced to 168-8.
But their tail-enders came up trumps with Cade securing victory in style off the final delivery as Ramsey remain 28 points behind leaders Foxton with three games to go.
Adam Newman starred as Eaton Socon enjoyed a smooth success at Godmanchester.
The swing bowler bagged 4-8 as the reigning champions were dismissed for just 102 with nine of their wickets falling for just 48 runs. Simon Rose top-scored with a run-a-ball 42, but only two other Godmanchester batsmen made it into double figures.
Captain Jonny Carpenter, overseas ace Matt Kirkham and Joe Watling all weighed in with two wickets apiece for Eaton Socon with Watling claiming the scalp of the dangerous opener, Rose.
Carpenter then batted throughout Eaton Socon’s successful chase, finishing on 41 not out while Matthew Pateman added 37 against the Godmanchester side he skippered to title honours in 2015.
Charlie Lewis struck an unbeaten 90 as Waresley went down to Nassington by five wickets.
Lewis was the biggest contributor as the locals posted 234-5 with skipper Tom Griffiths also hitting a half-century.
But their tally was surpassed by Nassington with just under four over to spare despite Nigel Buckingham-Jones claiming 3-39.
TUCKER GARDNER LEAGUE
GODMANCHESTER lost to EATON SOCON by 6 wkts
Godmanchester 102 (S. Rose 42, A. Newman 4-8).
Eaton Socon 104-4 (J. Carpenter 41no, M. Pateman 37, E. Baldwin 3-15).
SAFFRON WALDEN lost to RAMSEY by 2 wkts
Saffron Walden 221-7 (D. Jones 3-42).
Ramsey 224-8 (M. Cafferkey 50, J. Cafferkey 41, J. Cade 30no).
WARESLEY lost to NASSINGTON by 5 wkts
Waresley 234-5 (C. Lewis 90no, T. Griffiths 52, S. Johnson 30).
Nassington 237-5 (N. Buckingham-Jones 3-39).
KIMBOLTON beat CAMBRIDGE GRANTA 2NDS by 6 wkts
Cambridge Granta 2nds 219 (R. Fenton 3-9).
Kimbolton 223-4 (R. Fenton 105no, M. Roberts 41no).
ST IVES beat HUNTINGDON & DISTRICT by 1 wkt
Huntingdon & District 117 (F. Khaliq 3-21).
St Ives 118-9 (U. Tariq 30).
UFFORD PARK lost to WARBOYS by 4 wkts
Ufford Park 132 (J. England 4-37).
Warboys 134-6 (C. Whitfield 46no).