Tows open their account for the new SNCL season

Tom Sheppard
Tom Sheppard

After a first week washout, Towcestrians finally began their South Northants Cricket League campaign with a solid win at Hanslope in Division Two.

After Hanslope won the toss and chose to bat on a grassy wicket, Tows’ first strike was in Tom Sheppard’s opening over when Richie mistimed a pull and lobbed a simple catch to Michael Alcock.

Following a brief delay for rain, Sheppard bagged himself another victim and Dan Fraine bowled Ross Roles before further rain reduced the game to 34 overs per side.

The pitch was now soft and made even trickier for batting and Towcestrians capitalised with young Josh Shakespeare bowling a miserly spell of 1-5 from four overs while another U15 players, Chris Linton, took 2-9 from his four overs to restrict Hanslope to 58-6.

Some late resilience from Brown (41no) at least gave Hanslope a sniff as they posted 121 from their overs, however Tows began aggressively in reply with Dave Roberts hitting two early boundaries.

Rob Jones also began nicely before departing, and that brought Sheppard to the crease who steadied the ship alongside Roberts with the pair adding 42 for the second wicket.

Roberts then misjudged a delivery from Griffin and departed for 31 but another excellent partnership between Sheppard and Andy Roberts of 49 put Tows on the brink of victory.

With only 16 required, Roberts (17), Michael Alcock (5) and Sheppard (49) all departed biut Linton and Ollie Drage kept their cool to see Tows over the line with five wickets to spare.

Tows host Middleton Cheney A this Saturday.

Elsewhere in the SNCL, Charlton have made a promising start to the new Premier Division season as they made it two wins from two when beating Warwick University Staff by virtue of having a faster run rate.

Ryan Knight (77) and Majid Ali (50) both struck half centuries for Charlton, while Syresham got their first win of the season thanks to a 38-run success over Evenley.

George Brock (71) top-scored in Syresham’s 231 all out before Nathan Archer’s 5-28 helped restrict Evenley to 193-8 despite Harry Brooker scoring 52.

Also in the Premier Division, Matt Copping scored 109 in Thornborough’s 69-run win over Byfield.

Other results in Division Two saw Greens Norton (239-6) hammer MK Air A (91ao) after Matt Yuill took 5-6 and Hinton-in-the-Hedges (150-7) edge a tight game by three runs over Kings Sutton (147-7).