PROMOTION chasing Towcestrians Ist XI gained a good win over Northampton Saints 2nds, the side who relegated them from Division 2 almost three years ago.
Tows were put into bat on what looked like a glorious batting wicket.
But it was Saints who made the better start, a now increasingly familiar top order collapse left Tows on the ropes at 83-5 .
At this point only the in-form Jack Parish looked to be providing any resistance.
It turned out to be another brilliant innings from Parish, who alongside Alex Blanchard (27) went about rebuilding the Towcester innings.
When Parish was finally out in the 48th over for 111, Tows were almost at a score that they felt was probably about par and finished up with 225-9 after good work from the lower order.
An understrength Tows bowling line-up knew they had to make early inroads into a strong Saints batting line-up if they were to have any hopes of a result in the game.
And they got the perfect start, with brilliant bowling from overseas player Travis Ilka (4-53) and Robson Kightley (4-34) putting Tows firmly onto the front foot, and they were well supported also by James Kirk (1-21).
Just as the game looked to be petering out for a draw with Saints well out of the game at 150-9, it took a moment of magic from specialist fielder Andrew Key to win the match. Diving to his left he took a fantastic one-handed catch and give Tows a maximum 30-point victory.
With three wins on the trot, fourth-placed Tows travel to third-placed Finedon this Saturday in what could be a massive game in the race for promotion.
>>Towcestrians 2nd’s poor run of results continued as it suffered at the hands of Desborough 2nds in a close encounter.
Tows lost the toss and were invited to bat. Martin Parish and Alan Edwards got the side off to a good start. Parish, in particular, looked in fine touch and it was somewhat of a surprise when he was bowled by Desborough’s skipper James Peel for 16. Alan Edwards continued to play with control and his innings of 55 was the mainstay of the Tows effort.
His partnership with Steve Edwards (45) moved Tows into a good position but of the later batsmen only Nick Hulatt (15) and Tom Sheppard (16) made much impression on the steady Desborough attack.
Peel, 4-32, was the pick of the bowlers. A total of 199-8 was about par on a very quick outfield.
Desborough’s reply started badly when Tom Sheppard quickly took the wicket of opener Paul Brackwell. However number three Adam King steadied things for Desborough and his knock of 98 not out was the cornerstone of their reply.
Wickets continued to fall at the other end and Steve Edwards’ return of 4-57 nearly turned things Tows’ way. However the inevitable gaps caused by fielding with only 10 men enabled Desborough to get over the line in an exciting finish.
Availability issues continue to hamper the 2nd XI’s performances this season. It’s hoped the situation will improve in the coming weeks.