Buckingham into the top half after back-to-back wins

Lester Smart
Lester Smart

Buckingham Town moved into the top half of HCPL Division Two after making it back-to-back wins with a four-wicket win over Shipton-under-Wychwood.

With Simon Myatt missing, Lester Smart took the new ball as Buckingham bowled first and he struck in his third over, trapping Shipton skipper Simon Hole lbw for eight.

In the next over, Jason Ell removed fellow opener Andy Hemming for 12 to leave the visitors 26-2 before Jamie Perkin (15) and Charlie Miller (23) led a mini fightback.

However, the innings faltered again and after Perkin and Miller both fell in a spell of three wickets in three Smart overs, Shipton were 65-5.

Stuart Hole came in at number six and looked more comfortable at the crease, but wickets continued to fall at the other end and at one stage Shipton were struggling to make three figures at 91-7.

After the break, Hole finally found some support from George Seacole as Shipton went past 100 and started to push towards a respectable score. The pair added 60 at four-an-over with Hole passing 50 (73 balls) before James Gear broke the partnership by dismissing Seacole for 18.

Hole began to accelerate the innings after that wicket and was supported by Tim Senior and Shaun Miller (both 11) with the final two wickets adding 51 valuable runs that pushed the total up to respectability at 200 all out. Smart finished with 5-54 from 16 overs.

In reply, Town’s openers Ash Pearson (32) and Steve Brunning (21) rode their luck with several dropped catches and several more balls falling short of fielders as they put on an opening stand of 54.

The introduction of Shaun Miller broke the partnership, though, as he picked up both openers in consecutive overs before Leigh Tomlinson and Jonny Cater saw Buckingham through to tea at 63-2.

After tea, Shipton struck early to pick up Cater which brought the inform Rob Large to the crease to join Tomlinson in what turned out to be the match-winning partnership.

The pair added 97 at a run-a-ball to take the hosts to the brink of victory with both passing 50 (Tomlinson 78 balls, Large 42 balls). Large was eventually caught on the boundary off Craig Wood for 58 but although Simon Hole picked up a couple of late wickets, Tomlinson saw Town home to finish unbeaten on 61.

The win takes Buckingham up to fifth in the table ahead of this weekend’s game at Finchampstead.