Buckingham extend unbeaten run after draw

Ashley Pearson
Ashley Pearson

Buckingham Town extended their unbeaten run when they held out for a high-scoring draw away at Finchampstead.

This was Town’s first trip to Finchampstead since 2008 and they were seeking a third straight league win as James Gear won the toss and inserted the hosts into bat first.

Simon Myatt took an early wicket for Town, bowlingMatt Jones for just four, before Max Stevenson (28) and skipper Dan Marles saw off the opening bowlers without further alarm, sharing a stand of 41.

The introduction of Jack Wilkins broke the stand when he removed Stevenson in his first over, but Billy Rogers joined his captain and scored fluently as the Buckingham bowlers struggled for wickets.

The pair added a century stand with first Marles (84 balls) and then Rogers (56 balls) passing 50 to take Finchampstead to 155-2 at lunch.

After lunch, Gear took the wicket of Rogers for 69 which brought Kiwi Lockie Ferguson to the wicket for Finchampstead and the scoring rate immediately increased with a partnership of 35 at a run-a-ball before Gear struck again to remove Marles for 89 (134 balls) to leave Finchampstead 209-4 with 10 overs to go.

Ferguson continued to bat aggressively before falling to the returning Myatt for 42 (35 balls) while some late runs from Dewes and Parson saw the innings finish on 280-7.

After the interval, Ash Pearson and Steve Brunning made a solid start for Buckingham, seeing off the opening bowlers with a 50 partnership.

The introduction of spinner Max Uttley brought the breakthrough when he removed Pearson for 25.

Leigh Tomlinson then joined Brunning and put on a 45-run partnership for the second-wicket. Brunning went past his half century but was stumped off Uttley for 52 (84 balls) in the penultimate over before tea as Buckingham reached 97-2 at the break.

Jonny Cater was positive after tea, scoring 21 before he was dismissed by the returning Ferguson to a top edged hook. Rob Large came in at five and, after a slow start, began to get the scoreboard moving. He and Tomlinson put on 53 in 10 overs to keep Buckingham with an outside chance of reaching their total.

The stand was broken by spinner Max Stevenson, who had Large caught at slip for 35 and Uttley followed that with the wicket of Tomlinson (42) in the next over to leave the visitors playing for a draw.

Two further Uttley wickets gave him a five wicket haul but Jack Wilkins (17no) and Ben Stafford (4no) saw out the final six overs as Buckingham finished on 220-7 to secure their first draw of the season.

The result sees Buckingham drop a place to sixth in a very congested HCPL Division Two table with just 13 points separating third and ninth.

Buckingham host Datchet this weekend.