Buckingham Town were unable to recover from an early flurry of wickets as they came up short in their chase against Aston Rowant, leaving them to stew on a first defeat of 2017.
The visitors chose to bat first and initially it appeared that decision was a mistake when Town bowler Kallan Braid-Ball removed both Rowant openers without scoring in his opening two overs.
This brought James McDougall and skipper Josh Smith to the wicket and everything changed. After a slow start to see off the tight opening bowling, the pair began to increase the run-rate against the change bowlers.
McDougall brought up a 61-ball half century in moving the score to 107-2 at drinks.
After the break the runs dried up, with only 52 coming in 15 overs before, as the pressure built, Smith was bowled by Nuwan Jayasena for 49.
Chris Watling joined McDougall, and the scoreboard began to move again as the innings entered the last 10 overs. McDougall went to his century from 130 balls before being caught on the boundary off Jack Parish for 118. Watling went on to score an unbeaten 34 (36 balls) while Wes Morrick chipped in 14 as the visitors closed on 243-4.
Liam Gough opened up for Buckingham and struck three consecutive boundaries off Leo Bethell before being dismissed by Wes Morrick, who removed both Buckingham openers.
Town’s star performer with the bat came at number three and Ash Pearson who looked in fine fettle while wickets tumbled around him.
Only Gough (19) in the rest of the top six managed to get into double figures as Rowant chipped away with regular wickets.
Pearson reached 50 from 71 balls, but the rate continued to climb as the overs ran out.
Morrick took 2-26 from his 10 overs while Hendrick Robyns claimed 3-41 as Buckingham began the last 10 overs 150-7, still needing 94.
Pearson and Nuwan Jayasena (22) tried with a run-a-ball partnership of 30 before the introduction of William Pendered brought the breakthrough, Pearson caught and bowled for 86.
Jason Ell struck 19 from 16 balls before he was the last man to fall as Buckingham were eventually dismissed for 202 to lose by 41 runs.
Town face a trip to Amersham this weekend.