Leighton return to top flight with a draw

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Leighton Buzzard’s return to Cherwell League Division 1 ended in a derby stalemate with neighbours Great Brickhill.

Having returned to the top flight after a year in Division 2 last time out, Buzzards welcomed Brickhill back to Bell Close, but quickly lost their hospitable nature as the visitors set out their stall.

A new opening partnership of Nelson (43) and Armstrong (12) made a bright start for the visitors but both were removed by Jack Kempster. When Carter (13) was caught off the bowling of Sam Roberts the match was evenly balance with score at 90-3 off 21 overs.

However the scoring rate increased rapidly with the arrival of Aris at the wicket. Chancing his arm he played attacking shots all round the wicket. Some indifferent fielding from the home side gifted runs to him as chances to dismiss him were missed.

However he continued to play with freedom and duly reached a century which included 16 fours and a six. Aris was eventually clean bowled by Kempster for 107 receiving useful support from Hammond(15) and Morris (34).

At the end of the allocated 51 overs Great Brickhill had scored 272-6. Kempster bowled well to take 4-62 with 1 wicket each for Sam Roberts and Lee Selfe.

Leighton made a dismal start as Chris Thompson (1), Tom Light (2) and Antony Francis (3) were soon back in the pavilion with the scoreboard reading 26-3 off 11 overs. Phillip Whatmore (21) and Adam Culley (17) began to build a response and steady but modest progress had been made when the former was bowled. Culley and Dave Roberts were playing well when the former was unnecessarily run out.

This brought Dan Scott to the wicket to join Roberts and Leighton now enjoyed their best part of the game with a partnership worth 65 runs.

Roberts (54) was given out lbw in the penultimate over of the innings but Scott (40no) and Kempster were able to bat out the overs to secure a draw for the home side.

For the visitors Blackwell took 4-33 with 1 wicket for Jhala.

This outcome was probably the best that Town could have expected after those early loss of wickets giving Leighton 5 points and Great Brickhill take 17.

In Division 4, Leighton 2nds made the short journey to Great Brickhill 2nds but came away second best.

The home side won the toss and asked Town to bat first. They made a disappointing start losing the top three batsmen for 32 runs in the first nine overs, all falling victim to Aldridge. Ben Smith (23), Alfie Ruston (15) and Rob Scott (28) tried to steady the ship with patient innings but Aldridge came back for his second spell and took three more wickets. Leighton closed on 134 all out with Aldridge taking 6-30.

Leighton took an early wicket when Priestley bowled Prasad(16) but Webb was in fine form with a run-a-ball 64. McDonald reached 31not out with 5 fours as the home side closed on 135-3 with overs to spare.