MARCH Town lost their first Cambs Tucker Premier Division game since May 14 but still hold a 12-point lead at the top of the table with four games to go.
It was a disappointing defeat for Chris Ringham’s side who held a winning position at one stage only to collapse to a 10-run defeat at Nassington.
The home side batted first and scored 167 all out in their 48 overs. At one stage it seemed they would score many more than that as they climbed to 99 for two off 23 overs. But the bowling of Carl Chapman (four wickets for eight runs) helped curb their run-flow and young Tyler Phillips picked up three for 47 and Josh Jackman 2-35.
March started well in reply and with 124 for three on the board it looked like another victory was on the way. Matt Wilcox 56, Tom Howgego 22, Chapman 18 and James Hilliard 30 had put them in a good position but unfortunately the tail did not wag on this occasion and the winning chance slipped away as they were out for 157.
Ringham said: “It was disapp-ointing to lose when we were in such a good position but the lower order batting failed this time. We perhaps let them score 30 runs too many on a wicket that did a bit, but having said that, they were 99-2 at one stage and a 200 target was on the cards.
“We picked up nine points so we still have a lead at the top of the table, so it is all in our own hands.
“The local derby game against Wisbech next week now takes even more importance as we have to bounce back with a win as we face another challenger for the title, Godmanchester, the following week.
“There are four games left and we are capable of winning all four at our best. Hopefully we will have Matt Wilcox back bowling next week.”
March seconds opener James Harradine smashed 76 as they gained sweet revenge over St Giles – one of only two teams to beat them this season in CCA Senior League Division 1.
Second in the table March picked up an impressive 48-run victory, having posted a 161-8 total – Richard Green weighing in with 23 at the end.
The home side then found themselves 88 for three with 17 overs remaining. But Callum Young stepped in with two quick wickets in his second spell for an impressive 4-25.
Two wickets apiece from Green and Andy Wright sealed St Giles’ fate at 113 all out.
Stuart Fox’s brilliant six for 36 spell of off-spin bowling could not prevent struggling March thirds from a 23-run defeat at the hands of Chatteris seconds at The Avenue and relegation looks certain from CCA Junior League Division 2A.
In the relegation battle, the visitors were bowled out for 142, with Jordan Morgan conceding just 16 runs from his 10 overs. But in reply March made a disastrous start with only 15 runs for three wickets off the first eight overs. Things deteriorated even further as they slumped to 32-6. Morgan (29) and Nathan Oliver (30) led the fight back, but it wasn’t enough.
On Sunday half centuries by David Haslegrave 66 and skipper Stephen Wallis 59 together with some more explosive hitting by James Beresford helped March seconds defeat Wisbech thirds by 23 runs in their Fenland Trophy encounter at The Avenue.
A second wicket stand of 108 between Haslegrave and Wallis laid the foundations to a 40-over score of 185-5, while Beresford struck 30 from only 25 balls.
Wisbech chased their target valiantly and in fading light were bowled out in the last over for 162, with Dominic Stannard scoring a dangerous looking 38 before falling to the experienced Matt Hubbard 2-27. The other main wicket takers were youngsters Toby Nulty 3-19 and Jacob Gray 2-28.