CRICKET: Needingworth close in on a third successive promotion; Alconbury still on top in exciting title race; Bryden inspires first success

Paul Bigger starred for Houghton & Wyton.

Paul Bigger starred for Houghton & Wyton. - Credit: Archant

Needingworth are hoping to write another chapter in one of the biggest success stories in local cricket.

Dan Sherlock’s men are closing in on a third successive promotion with three games of the Cambs Senior League Division Two season to go.

All three of second-placed Needingworth’s fixtures are against teams currently in the bottom three, starting with the visit of Cottenham to Millfields this Saturday, when current leaders Foxton 2nds play third-placed Old Leysians. Foxton lead Needingworth by virtue of a marginally better points average.

Sherlock led the way with a top-scoring 63 as Needingworth eased past Longstanton Grasshoppers by seven wickets last Saturday. An unbeaten 54 from Lee Smith helped them past a posting of 191-9.

The most exciting title race of 2016 is unfolding in Hunts League Division Three where table-toppers Alconbury lead a gaggle of four local sides who are covered by just 26 points with four games to go.

Harry Cotton hit 60 and Fahim Akbar took 5-16 as Alconbury annihilated Biggleswade by 143 runs last Saturday, but closest challengers Sawtry were in just as emphatic form as they blitzed Huntingdon & District 2nds by eight wickets. Glyn Smith cracked 92 and Josh Burgess hit an unbeaten 77 as they made light work of surpassing a target of 197.

A century from David Drage kept Upwood in the promotion hunt as they beat Ramsey 3rds by 54 runs while Paul Bigger hit an unbeaten 80 as Houghton & Wyton trounced Hampton 2nds by a 137-run margin.

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Matt Slack’s ton kept Ramsey 2nds in contention for the Hunts Division One crown as they saw off Ickwell by 114 runs.

Promotion will certainly prove beyond Godmanchester 2nds at that level – as, more than likely, will avoiding relegation. But that won’t have stopped the bottom side enjoying a first win of the summer last Saturday as they saw off Hampton by three wickets. Richard Brook took 4-30 as the visitors were removed for 195 before an innings of 91 from in-form Alec Bryden helped the Godmanchester side to victory.

The finest bowling figures of last weekend belonged to Brampton man Andy Canham as they eased to a five-wicket victory over Hemingford Park in an all-local affair.

He claimed 6-26 before Stuart Henderson led the way with 64 as they successfully passed the hosts’ offering of 188.