Leighton avoid the rain to hit top spot

Leighton Buzzard vs Tiddington.
Leighton Buzzard vs Tiddington.

The wet weather wasn’t going to stop Leighton Buzzard as they not only took victory over Tiddington at Bell Close, but also pole position in Cherwell League Division 1.

Leighton benefitted when the two sides above them, Thame Town and Great Brickhill, faced off just up the road but saw their game fall to abandonment.

It meant a win would see Leighton take over top spot after seven games if their game could survive the regular downpours.

It was dull and overcast when Leighton won the toss and, with rain predicted, Leighton skipper Phillip Whatmore decided to take first use of the wicket.

Openers Antony Francis (48) and Chris Thompson (13) soon had the scoreboard rattling along before the latter was out lbw.

Tom Light (10) edged to the wicketkeeper and Francis (9 fours) was caught and bowled off a full toss by spinner Maule with the score on 97-3 off 23 overs.

Dan Scott (10) smashed a six and a four and then holed out to a skier and Dave Roberts (1) was soon back in the pavilion.

Whatmore (46) had been scoring steadily but was caught going for a big hit.

Lee Selfe only managed a single before being caught. Jack Kempster had made his highest score of the season at 29 not out with Sam Roberts (6no) when it began to rain heavily.

The players were driven from the field at 3.40pm with the Leighton core standing on 191-7 from 47 overs.

It rained for about an hour and the prospects for a restart seemed slim.

However the weather conditions improved and after a pitch inspection the umpires allowed play to restart at 6pm with Tiddington having 26 overs to achieve their target of 192 for victory.

To their credit they “gave it a go”. Runs flowed and after five overs the visitors had scored 44 runs without loss. The principal aggressor was Tom Rowley who is presently the Cherwell League’s highest run scorer.

He crashed five fours as he rushed to 21 but then edged Scott and Selfe at slip took the catch.

Opener Talbot (14) was bowled by Scott and Light then bowled Pykett (20).

With the score at 81-3 off 13 overs the prospects for the visitors hitting their target still seemed reasonable, especially with Goodman (53) still at the wicket and building a decent innings.

However Leighton’s senior spinner Lee Selfe then took command and tore apart the rest of the visiting batting line-up as he took the remaining seven wickets in just 30 deliveries.

Town had just taken the ninth wicket with the score standing on 147 when it seemed that the weather was about to intervene again.

There were just four deliveries left in the over when it began to rain.

Just as the players began to move towards the pavilion it stopped as suddenly as it had started.

Selfe continued the over and after 2 deliveries trapped the last man leg before wicket to much acclamation from the home fans.

For Leighton Scott 2-23, Light 1-38 and Selfe 7-34 were the successful bowlers.

So, inspite of the elements, Leighton were able to claim another victory and a maximum of 25 points.

With other games being affected by the weather this allowed Town to climb to the top of the Division 1 table.

Meanwhile in Division 4, Leighton 2nds travelled to Kimble but the weather didn’t come to their aid as they lost by eight wickets.

Leighton won the toss and batted first.

Although the top 4 batsmen all made it into double figures no-one was able to spend too much time at the crease in order to build a big innings which the team needed.

From 63-3 the score subsided to 97 all out with Gareth Benger and Yogesh Mistry being the team’s top scorers both with 19 runs.

There were two hours lost to rain but the total was never going to challenge the home side and they reached 98-2 from 18 overs.

There was a wicket each for Benger and Mistry and Town bank just 2 points for their afternoon’s efforts.

A disappointing display from the Leighton team who must score more runs in order to be competitive.