Buckingham come up just short

Jason Ell
Jason Ell

Buckingham Town suffered a second consecutive defeat in Division Two of the Home Counties Premier League when they came up just short in a tightly-contested match against Finchampstead.

Having won the toss and inserted the visitors into bat, Buckingham bowled accurately with the new ball as Jason Ell took 2-18 in an eight over spell before first change bowler Vish Valambhia also bowled eight tight overs, taking 1-22.

When James Gear picked up the wicket of Billy Rogers for 26 in his first over, the game looked well-poised with Finchampstead 89-4 approaching the halfway point of the innings.

However, Dan Lincoln and Lockie Ferguson (34) compiled what proved to be a decisive partnership as the duo put on 63 for the fifth wicket by taking advantage of any loose deliveries.

The visitors reached 169-5 heading into the last 10 overs before Lincoln eventually fell just short of his century for 93 (103 balls) but Max Stevenson hit 31 from just 22 balls as Finchampstead scored 34 from the final three overs to finish on a very competitive 259-8.

In reply, Rob Large immediately got Buckingham ahead of the rate with 33 from 25 balls as he and Simon Gear (22) put on 48 in the first eight overs.

Leigh Tomlinson (22) joined Gear and the pair added a further 37 before Max Uttley and Anthony Parson took two wickets apiece to reduce Buckingham from 85-1 to 115-5 in the space of seven overs.

Jack Parish and Jack Wood steadied the innings with an important partnership of 69, but when Parish (41) was bowled by skipper Dan Marles, it left Buckingham needing 76 from the final 10 overs.

Steve Lewis (14) added 38 in six overs with Wood (38) to keep the hosts in the hunt, however when they were both dismissed in the space of three deliveries, the chase fell away with Buckingham finishing just 10 runs short on 249-9.

Town are away to Datchet this weekend.

Elsewhere, Buckingham IIs took on Banbury IIIs in Cherwell League Division Three.

Banbury batted first and had three half centurions in their total of 254-8 as Ben Laycock took 3-57.

Town lost early wickets in their reply but were indebted to two gritty innings from Michael Taylor (40) and then Alex O’Dell (28 not out) as they finished on 154-8 to earn a draw.

The IIs host Cropredy this weekend.