Huntingdon & District claim Hunts County top honours

Eaton Socon CC v Ketton CC, Eaton Socon bowler Adam Newman, misses a catch

Eaton Socon CC v Ketton CC, Eaton Socon bowler Adam Newman, misses a catch - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon & District survived a massive scare to see off second-placed Ickwell and clinch the Hunts County Bats Division 1 title on Saturday.

A solid, all-round batting effort from Craig Leigh (53), Navid Ahmed (41), Nikhil Kumpukkal (40) and Tahseel Ahmadzai (30) enabled the visitors to run up 241-9 in their 45 overs, but for a long time Ickwell looked more than capable of overhauling the target and nicking the crown from under Huntingdon’s noses.

Their top five batsmen scored freely, kept up with the required rate and were within sight of an upset when Nomi Khan returned to the attack and sliced through the middle and lower order.

He claimed four of the last five wickets, returned figures of 4-35 and did most to send the home side back 36 short to spark off the championship celebrations.

Eaton Socon II, meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief as they got the better of neighbours Godmanchester Town to stave off the threat of relegation.

Nick Willmer (59), Steve Marsh (49) and James Howells (43) were the main contributors to Godmanchester’s 200-7, but in a tense finish, numbers eight and nine (Matt Taylor and Chris Dickerson) kept their nerve and nicked it balls from the end.

Eaton Socon were earlier indebted to Simon Cooper for his well struck 58 and for very handy mid-order runs from Roan Haarhoff (34) and David McCaig (29). They now face a nervous wait as they lie two points above second-from-bottom Hampton, who play their last game against champions Huntingdon on Saturday with the bottom two from each league relegated.

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Ramsey II’s bowlers came to the rescue after their batsmen found the going tough at Southill. Only Robert Menarry’s half century made much of an impression in a modest 145, which in the end proved just about enough as Menarry turned his attention to the ball, took 3-19 in 12 accurate overs and helped dismiss the home side 12 shy of the target.

Alconbury look as if they had already given up on Division 2 survival when they fielded only eight players for their penultimate league match of the season against Orton Park.

Ewing boys Richard (4-41) and Dexter (4-54) combined to dismiss the visitors for 179 – a good effort under the circumstances – but only Riaz Anjum made any impression as the home team were dispatched for a miserly 108.

Alconbury need to better AK and Sawtry’s performance on Saturday in a closely-fought relegation battle with only seven points between the bottom five teams.

Michael Speed’s half-century wasn’t enough to prevent Houghton & Wyton coming unstuck in their final game at the hands of Peterborough’s third string, a result which puts them at threat of relegation as Barnack, Alconbury, AK and Sawtry all have a game in hand.

Waresley II’s season finished in a disappointing fashion, even though they wound up second.

Pat Ellerback’s three wickets helped restrict the home team to 162-8, which was more than enough as Waresley’s batting came a cropper. Laurence Frederick (38) top scored as they were sent back for 138.

Upwood kept their Division 3 safety hopes alive thanks to Neil Tuffin’s run-a-ball century which featured 16 boundaries and two sixes.

Ian Jones weighed in with a hard-hit 48 (off 44 balls) and the total of 268-6 was never going to be matched by Newborough, who were rolled over for just 115 by a 10-man attack. Seven of them wound up with wickets.

On Saturday they hope to get something out of their game against division champions Castor and Ailsworth, as eight points will guide the side to safety, while relegating Huntingdon & District II.

No joy for Buckden. They were taken to the cleaners by Cople. Warboys’ second team are their next opponents, who have two games in hand over Bharat, currently 27 points ahead in the second promotion place.

Hemingford Park and Warboys III wrapped up their Division 4 campaign with a derby match dominated by the former. Jeremy Burrows (64) top scored and collected a five-wicket haul, while Steve Waite (3-12) had something to smile about as well.