Batting slump ends Leighton's shot at first victory


Another poor batting show ensured Leighton Buzzard would slump to their third defeat in as many games, going down by 92 runs by Minster Lovell.

Having suffered a winless start to the season, Leighton sit in the bottom two after the opening three weekends.

And their quest for their first win of the campaign was not helped by their poor performance with the bat, as only four batsmen managed to reach double figures.

Gareth Benger’s 52 was undoubtedly the highlight for Leighton, but ultimately they came up well short of the mark.

Leighton’s start to the game though could have told an entirely different story. Minster Lovell skipper Nathan Harris won the toss and elected to bat, but was sent packing early for just 5 - bowled by Dan Scott.

Fellow opener Elliot Graham (27) joined him not long after, with the first of four quick-fire wickets to fall.

Minster went from 41-2 to 66-5 in quick succession, with Benger removing Harry Ebsworth (8) before an Antony Francis double as he took out Jack Simpson (0) and Eddie Dunn (1). Francis’ third wicket of the day saw him remove Oliver Mersh for 8, leaving the home side 90-6.

In bringing James Merriman to the crease though, his partnership with Connor Tinsley would ultimately win the day.

The pair would put on 115 for the seventh wicket before Merriman departed for 70, while Tinsley would end with an unbeaten 85 as Minster would finish 250-7.

Leighton made almost carbon copy of Minster’s innings, barring the huger middle-order stand, which would cost them the win. Like the home side, they lost their opening wicket, that of Tom Light (20), on 26 before quick wickets would leave them toiling.

Leighton would lose both Matthew Gurney (9) and Bertie Barrett (0) with the score on 33 , and then Greg Proudfoot (23) and Dan Scott (0) on 61.

Paul Williams became the third duck of the innings as Leighton slumped to 72-6. With Benger and Francis at the crease, the duo did their best to recover with a sharing of 52. But the fall of Francis for 28 would effectively end Leighton’s chances at 124-7.

Their final three wickets fell for 34 runs to reduce them for 158 and a 92 run loss.

Still chasing their first win, Leigthon host league leaders Cropredy at Bell Close next weekend.