Four-way battle for the Premier Division title

Darren Beckett
Darren Beckett

The top of the South Northants Cricket League Premier Division is becoming increasingly congested with four teams separated by just eight points heading into the final five games of the season.

Middleton Cheney lead the way by four points from Byfield after both teams were victorious this week, with Syresham (157-9) two points further back in third after they scraped to a one-wicket victory over Wroxton (154) thanks to Darren Beckett (48) and George Brock (44).

Evenley are also in the mix in fourth as Ollie Patterson (2-1) and Anthony Romaine (47) starred in a six-wicket success away at Castlethorpe.

This weekend, Evenly host Marston St Lawrence, Syresham are away at struggling Castlethorpe, bottom side Wroxton entertain Byfield and leaders Middleton Cheney take on Warwick University Staff.

The Division One title race is remarkably tight with just 15 points separating seven teams.

Greens Norton currently lead the way despite a 22-run defeat at home to title rivals Thornborough. Ian Chapman (58) and Stuart Chapman (51no) top-scored in Thornborough’s 237-6 and although Matt Yuill hit 88, Cameron Davis (3-16) steered the visitors to victory.

MK Air and Radway are joint second on 144 points, seven clear of Bodicote, who beat Evenley A by 59 runs.

This Saturday, Greens Norton are at home to Evenley A.

In Division Two, Hinton-in-the-Hedges closed the gap on leaders Priors to 12 points with victory over Gayton. Batting first, Pat Whitmee hit 52 in Hinton’s 220-7 before Josh Withers (4-20) was the pick of the bowlers as bottom of the table Gayton were dismissed for just 104.

Hinton host struggling Hanslope tomorrow, Saturday.

Silverstone have conceded top spot in Division Three to Middleton Cheney A after the latter beat the former by eight wickets. Elsewhere in the division, fourth-placed Towcestrians (111-3) beat Woodford Halse A (109), Tom Sheppard took 5-27 as Syresham A (208-8) overcame Helmdon (140) and Gawcott & Hillesdon (232-5) defeated Bodicote A (167-9) by 65 runs after Dave Barnes hit 90.

The fixtures this weekend see Syresham A host Towcestrians and Gawcott entertain Silverstone.

In Division Five, Noel Britto (59) top-scored in Brackley’s loss to Middleton Cheney B while Thornborough A (55-4) maintained their title challenge by cruising to a six-wicket win over Maids Moreton (54) as Wroxton A maintained their 18-point lead with a 32-run win away at Flecknoe, who this week travel to Thornborough.