MARCH Town saw their lead at the top of the Cambs Tucker Premier Division reduced to 22 points when they were forced to close shop for a draw at high-riding Foxton on Saturday.
Opener Tommy Howgego was forced to show both sides of his batting as he blazed a half-century off just 47 balls and then went on the defensive for the rest of the 48 overs to finish unbeaten on 63 not out.
March had started the game well and, with Matt Wilcox picking up two early wickets and skipper Chris Ringham one, the home side were struggling at 22 for three wickets.
Unfortunately Foxton weathered the storm and put on another 71 runs for the next wicket and made their way to 232 for nine off their overs.
This was always a tall order for March, but Howgego and Shardul Brahmbhatt gave them every hope as they took the score to 101 for two off 18 overs.
But then wickets fell quickly and March were forced onto the back foot with Howgego defiant to the end as they reached 162 for seven.
March salvaged 10 points and Ringham was pretty happy on that score.
He said: “Once we could not win it was important that we stopped Foxton, who are just behind us in the table, from winning and we achieved that.
“I did think that Shardul and Tommy were going to win us the game, but Shardul was out to a very good catch in the deep.
“A draw was not the end of the world. We are still in the lead and with just seven games to go the atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards was very upbeat.
“We still have Godmanchester to play so really everything is in our own hands but we do face a tough game against Ramsey next weekend.”
March seconds had a six-wicket win against Kimbolton and Catworth in CCA Senior League Division 1.
Kimbolton reached 175 for seven in their 45 overs with the dependable Richard Green taking three for 42 and Callum Young 2-35.
March’s reply was given a good start by Jon Kaberry 38 and Rob Moden 15, then came a good contribution from David Hodson 19.
A good fourth wicket stand by Dan Martell 42 and Tyler Phillips 44 not out made sure of victory to keep March in second place.
March thirds came unstuck against Pymoor in Junior Division 2A losing six wickets.
The visitors struggled for runs and were all out for just 86 which was never enough to trouble an in-form Pymoor team.
March fourths were awarded the points when Elsworth were unable to raise a team.