TITLE-chasers Eaton Socon were leapfrogged by rivals Huntingdon after suffering a narrow defeat on Saturday.

Eaton Socon

TITLE-chasers Eaton Socon were leapfrogged by rivals Huntingdon in Hunts Division One after suffering a narrow defeat on Saturday.

Huntingdon now sit third in the league, with Eaton in fourth, after edging a match in which runs were at a premium.

Eaton batted first and struggled, with only Matt Childerley (29) able to find runs. Huntingdon's Humza Rashid (5-17) put in a fine spell on a bowler-friendly surface, and helped to restrict Eaton to just 120 all out. Run-outs for Dean Presland and Dave Unwin gifted cheap wickets to Huntingdon.

In defending their total, the Eaton bowlers set about Huntingdon in style and reduced them to 8-4 to spark early hope, but the game ebbed away when Huntingdon's Yasir Shafiq (31) took the attack to the bowlers.

Shalinder Ranaut and Navid Ahmed then put together a partnership of 41 that helped Huntingdon to 121-8 and a two-wicket win.

Eaton captain Terry Day said: "It was hard to score runs with Rashid bowling so well on a difficult batting wicket. The two run outs didn't help our cause, but I still felt we had a chance of winning."

Huntingdon chairman Darren Humphreys was encouraged by the victory but asked more of his batsmen. "Shafiq's was a good knock, but we still need our batsmen to show more a bit more application and patience in the future," he said.

IN THE semi-final of the East Beds Shield Eaton held their nerve to beat Caldecote with just one ball to spare.

Caldecote had set a challenging 158-9 from their 15 eight-ball overs but Eaton were unfazed. Day (36) got the innings off to a flyer and Jon Carpenter (69*) and Dave Humphrey (46*) completed a memorable night by taking Eaton to 159-3.

In Rutland 3 on Sunday, Eaton went top of the pile with a six-wicket win over Long Sutton. Sutton had scored 169-8 with Carpenter taking four wickets before Humphrey (53), Richard Nicklin (36) and Joe Dawborn (30) bagged good scores to take Eaton to 173-4.