Leighton’s smiles fade as defeat sees them ousted from top spot

Antony Francis celebrates taking a wicket for Leighton
Antony Francis celebrates taking a wicket for Leighton

Leighton Buzzard Town a second suffered a shock defeat in a row, this time at the hands of bottom club Oxford and Bletchingdon Nondescripts to blow open the Cherwell Division 2 title race.

Having lost last Saturday to Oxford 2nds, who had occupied bottom spot, Nondies did the very same to Leighton, having slipped to the bottom last week.

Leightonvs Oxford & Bletchingdon

Leightonvs Oxford & Bletchingdon

Their 47 run win means Jack Kempster’s side slip to fifth in the table, but there are just six points separating the top five, with Challow and Childrey leading the way.

In Kempster’s absence this week, stand-in captain Dan Scott won the toss and elected to bowl first, a decision that look to have paid off as opening bowler James Aldridge struck twice early to reduce the visitors to 30-2.

But, then the visitors wrestled back the initiative through Shah (55) and Day (54) as they looked poised to post a big total.

The introduction of spin duo Lee Selfe and Anthony Francis prompted a swing in momentum, as they dismissed both players and dragged Town back into the game.

Dan Scott bowls

Dan Scott bowls

The pair picked up the last seven wickets to fall in quick time to dismiss the visitors for a slightly under par score of 201, a total that the hosts were confident of chasing. Francis ending with figures of 4- 57 and Selfe 3-43.

Towns reply got off to poor start as opening bowler Saleem tore through the top order to reduce Town to 25-4.

Things didn’t get much better and three more wickets went down quickly as Town slumped to 70-7.

Captain Scott was the only batsman to show any resistance as he then in partnership with the lower order brought up his own half century, to at one point give Town a brief glimpse of victory.

But when he departed for an excellent 73 any chance of a Town victory went with him, and the home team were bowled out for 154, to register a 47 run defeat.

Leighton will be keen to get their promotion push back on track next week when they travel to Sandford St Martin.

Leighton 2nds didn’t fare much better in their Division 5 clash with Long Marston, going down by five wickets.

Town batted first and though excellent half centuries from Riaan Krynauw (56) and Captain Andy Smith (58) posted a competitive looking 197 from their 50 overs.

Unfortunately, this didn’t prove to be enough as the bowlers found wickets difficult to come by and Marston reached their victory target for the loss of just five wickets. Andy Smith was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 3-47.

Great Brickhill 2nds remain second from bottom of Division 3 despite an excellent victory over Banbury 3rds.

Big knocks from Lawrence Armstrong (49), Greg MacDonald (77), James Clark (59) and Omar Hanif (62) set Brickhill towards a huge total of 295-5.

And with Edwards Marshall putting in an unplayable spell, taking 6-23, Banbury were skittled for 201 to hand Brickhill a comfortable 94 run victory, but they stay second from bottom.