Leighton left needing snookers to stay in Division 2

Antony Francis
Antony Francis

Leighton Buzzard will likely be playing Division 3 cricket next season after defeat to Banbury 2nds all but confirmed their relegation.

Knowing they would need help to keep them in the second tier of Cherwell League cricket, Saturday’s loss not only means they slumped to the bottom of the table, but even a win over Challow & Childrey next week might not keep them afloat.

The defeat on Saturday came in one of Leighton’s better batting performances of the season. Despite losing opener Tom Light early on, Antony Francis led from the front.

Alongside Mark Burfoot, the pair put on 65 for the second wicket, before Burfoot fell for 14, before being joined by Dan Scott.

Between them, the pair added another 97 when Scott was bowled by Joseph Wadham for 64, and the scoreboard reading 170-3.

Runs continued to flow as Francis approached his century, with Phil Whatmore’s 24 helping Leighton reach 224-4.

Francis though fell agonisingly close to triple figures, back in the pavilion for 97, with Leighton settling on 232-5.

While their innings gave them hope, Banbury opener Tom Bartlett’s 123 put paid to their chances.

Along with Alistair Short’s 42, the best efforts of Jack Kempster (4-55) and Francis (3-44) were not enough as Banbury reached 240-8 to claim the win.

Leighton host Challow at Bell Close next Saturday.