Tows maintain perfect record

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Towcestrians extended their winning streak to 10 games after they kept their nerve to beat Middleton Cheney A by two wickets.

The runaway leaders in South Northants Cricket League Division Four are now 65 points clear, but it was far from a straightforward victory as the visitors recovered from a poor start to post a decent target that Tows struggled to chase.

On winning the toss, Cheney chose to make the most of the glorious weather and batted first, but their innings began badly as Andy Cater (3-41) bowled openers Ashley Cox and Luke Finch before James Watt’s promising innings also fell victim to the dangerous Cater.

Things got even worse for the visitors with the introduction of Alan Edwards, as his slow bowling was too much for the middle order. In a mesmerising spell, he took five quick wickets to put Cheney in dire straits at 80-9.

However, Barry White attacked from ball one and the Tows’ bowling became increasingly wayward, with White and Robert Croft (25) putting on 76 before Edward finally broke the partnership to finish with 6-12 from 10 overs.

Chasing 157 to win, the target shouldn’t have been a problem for Tows, given the strength of the batting line-up, but opener Tom Sheppard was out quickly, caught behind off Ian Crofts, and then Andy Roberts fell for 12.

Skipper Ollie Drage batted nicely and looked to be developing a promising partnership with Edwards, but Drage departed for 26 before Edwards (33) was castled by Crofts to leave the match in the balance.

A healthy run rate meant Tows still appeared to be on course for victory but then Henry Drage, Ed Penn and Charlie Mackeness were all bowled in quick succession, leaving Tows still 35 short of victory with seven wickets down.

But Nick Hulatt batted with authority and remained patient to guide Tows over the line with an unbeaten 30 and maintain the leaders’ 100 per cent record in Division Four.

Tows are without a match this weekend.