MARCH Town took another giant stride towards the Cambs Tucker Premier Division title with a seven-wicket win against Cambridge Granta seconds on Saturday.
With just five games left March hold a 23-point lead at the top of the table with both Godmanchester and Foxton picking up 25 points, but I doubt any bookmaker is offering odds against them bringing the title back to The Avenue.
Skipper Chris Ringham won the all important toss and was able to put Granta into bat. With Matt Wilcox nursing a back injury, it was left to Ringham and the young Tyler Phillips to open the attack and they were soon making inroads into the home batsmen.
Granta were struggling at 50 for five after 25 overs with Ringham finishing with four for 21 off 15 overs to take his tally to 30 wickets in the last eight games. Teenager Phillips, back from a back injury, took 2-29. Tom Howgego also bowled very well for three for 15 off 5.4 overs as Granta finished on 129 all out.
There was no sign of any struggle for Wilcox with the bat as he reached 82 not out off 66 balls and a six to win the game. With Carl Chapman smashing a quick 24, March had won inside 19 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Ringham said: “It was important we won the toss especially as Wilcox could not bowl but in the end we did it comfortably.
“It is another 20 points but we are still not home yet and have tricky games against Nassington and Wisbech in the next two weeks. It would be nice to win the title against Wisbech but I have a feeling it will go down to the last game against Khalsa.”
Wilcox was again in good form with the bat on Sunday when he scored 85 but March lost out by three wickets against Finedon in Rutland League Division One.
March scored 206 all out with James Hilliard 30 and Dave Hodson 26 also contributing well.
Finedon were made to struggle for victory and got home with one ball to spare at 207 for seven in 44.5 overs. Tyler Phillips took four for 43 and Jordan Morgan 2-20.
March seconds had a thrilling last over win to remain in second spot in CCA Senior League Division 1 with a two-wicket success against Histon.
The home side had former Cambs star Ian Lawrence making an unbeaten 119 in their 208-4 total after Callum Young and Josh Jackman had reduced them to 2-2 at the start.
Jackman then top-scored with 44, although Histon conceded 45 extras mainly due to Alfie Dixon bowling no less than 33 wides! With 30 needed in the final five overs there was no better man for the job than Richard Green seeing the side home with an unbeaten 37 with one ball to spare.
A career best 82 from James Beresford helped March thirds lift themselves off the bottom of CCA Junior League Division 2A, with a convincing seven-wicket win over second in the table Sutton.
The home side were six regulars short but that didn’t prevent Beresford from dispatching five deliveries straight out of the ground in the 152-3 winning total. The left-arm bowler, who hadn’t opened the batting for the side before, certainly had luck on his side as he was dropped six times and survived two run outs!
Earlier, Manuj Patel picked up two wickets in his first over before a run had been scored to become one of three bowlers to claim three wickets – skipper Matt Hubbard and Neil Alger the other two, in Sutton’s 148-9 total.
March fourths picked up the points again without a ball being bowled in their CCA Junior League Division 5A match with second placed Sutton seconds who could not raise a team.
They have not played a game in almost a month due to teams cancelling the last four games and still top the table.
On Sunday March seconds cruised to a nine-wicket victory against a young Witcham side with all four bowlers taking wickets and some hard hitting batting scoring the winning runs in a mere 12.1 overs.
Witcham elected to bat but were soon in trouble against the opening duo of 15-year-old Toby Nulty 3-18 and experienced Matt Hubbard 4-28, who together reduced the home side to 17-4 in the fifth over. Youngsters Sam Mason 2-16 and Jacob Gray 1-27 then finished off the job to dismiss them for 93 after 23 overs
However, the fireworks really started when the in-form James Beresford struck 44 not out, and together with David Haslegrave 38 not out, added an undefeated 52 for the second wicket to move March to second place in the Fenland Trophy.