March CC came agonisingly close to clinching one of the big upsets of the day in Cambs Whitings League Division 1, when they were beaten by 17 runs away to reigning champions Foxton.
Chris Ringham (3-25) took out three of the top four, as he and skipper Tyler Phillips (1-15) had the home side rocking at 31-4 after 16 overs. Foxton managed to rally before left-arm slow bowler Spencer Saberton picked up 4-16 in no time as the Cambridge-based side were dismissed for 113.
March, unfortunately, were two down inside seven balls and Phillips had to put his batting head on for a defiant 27. But with Curtis Oldroyd (10) the only other batsman to make double figures, the visitors were bowled out for 96 in yet another match of ‘what might have been?’
League wise, March remain in the bottom two, but relegation may not be automatic depending upon where the likes of table-toppers Ketton and Ramsey play their cricket next season.
Foxton 113 all out, 44.3 overs (Spencer Saberton 4-16, Chris Ringham 3-25, T Phillips 1-15, Sam Clarke 1-15, Andy Wright 1-41), March 96 all out, 36.3 overs (T Phillips 27).
Batting woes came back to haunt the 2nd XI as they lost out by 36 runs to Longstanton at The Avenue, in their final CCA Senior League Division 2 match of the season.
The visitors only made 150 as the slow bowlers did the damage. James Harradine took 3-38, with off-spinners Richard Green and Steve Coe sharing five wickets.
Longstanton used 10 bowlers, and still bowled March out for 114. Again, veteran batsman/wicketkeeper John Gilson propped the middle order up, with opener Steve Hinson making 18.
Longstanton 150 all out, 28.5 overs (Harradine 3-38, Green 3-41, Coe 2-18), March 2nd XI 114 all out, 37.4 overs (John Gilson 25no).
The Sunday 1st XI could well have blown both their chances of the Rutland League Division 2 title and promotion, following a crushing 89-run defeat at the hands of close rivals Weldon.
Although March remain top, Weldon will win the division if they are successful next weekend and if fourth placed King’s Keys win both their remaining two matches they will finish second.
March skipper Andy Wright did his best on the day when he picked up the first hat-trick of his career, with the first three deliveries of his second spell. It took him to 50 wickets for the season and saw the visitors slump from 161-5 to 161-8 and then 188 all out.
Wright finished with 4-22, with spinners Steve Coe and Geoff Kirby each picking up two wickets.
March were then two down for 24 before the big loss of leading run-scorer Brandon Phillips for just 4 with the total on 39. Curtis Oldroyd, one of the most improved players of the season, hit a top score of 43 in the all out total of 99.
Weldon 188 all out, 41.3 (Andy Wright 4-22, Steve Coe 2-30, Geoff Kirby 2-42), March 1st XI 99 all out, 27.1 overs (Curtis Oldroyd 43, Ben Chapman 16).
Super Sam Mason skippered his Sunday 2nd XI side into the final of the Ernie Wool Cup, after blasting an unbeaten 44 during a narrow three-run victory at Chatteris.
The March captain came in at No8 and followed up last week’s 34 not out with crucial runs to take his side to 130 all out before tea.
Dan Waltham took two early Chatteris wickets but the home side were in the box seat with wickets in hand, before Manuj Patel’s 3-21 and Simon Bradshaw’s 2-27 left them on 127-9 at the close.
March will meet either Khalsa or Ely in the final at Chatteris on Sunday, September 17.
March 2nd XI 130 all out, 29.5 overs (Sam Mason 44 not out, Jacob Gray 23), Chatteris 127-9, 30 overs (Manuj Patel 3-21, Dan Waltham 2-19, Simon Bradshaw 2-27, Kian Pooley 1-11).
Third spot in the Whitings League Wisbech lost to Eaton Socon by 5 wickets on Saturday.
Wisbech 1st XI 170 all out (45.4 overs; Gary Freear 20, Danny Haynes 15, Josh Bowers 13, James Williams 14, Parth Patel 11, Jason Young 23, Rhys Howell 10, Jamie Gollands 45) 8pts. Eaton Socon 174-5 (41.4 ov; Jonathan Garner 2-27) 30pts.
Cambridge N.C.I. CC- 1st XI 106 all out (35; Adam Whittaker 2-9, Adam Hodgson 2-32, Lyndon Mallett 2-24, Silas Mutubaki 3-9) 6pts, lost to Wisbech 2nd XI 202-8 (45; Daniel Jones 43, Sam Albutt 39, Ali Anthony 55, Matt Esser 21, Adam Hodgson no 21) 20pts, by 96 runs.
Wisbech 3rd XI 149-10 (39.3) 7pts, lost to Camden 152-8 (40) 20pts, by 3 runs.
Sunday, Rutland League Division 1: Stamford Town 254 for 8 (45 overs; Jason Young 4-45) beat Wisbech 234 for 7 (45 overs; Dan Oldfield 29, Jason Young 43, Josh Bowers 52, Ali Anthony 21, Parth Patel 47) by 20 runs.
Fenland Invitation Trophy Ernie Wool Cup: Somersham Town 0pts conceded v Wisbech 2nd XI 40pts.
Next Saturday’s Whitings League fixtures: March v Foxton, Eaton Socon v Wisbech.