March fail to recover from early setback

March Town tasted their first Cambs Tucker League defeat of the year, when losing out at Sawston by three wickets on Saturday.

Chris Ringham’s team were forced to play with just 10 men when Cambs University player Jivan Lotay dropped out injured when the team were already travelling to the game.

To cap matters fellow varsity player Rob Woolley was bowled off the third ball of the first over. It was then left to Matt Wilcox and Ron Tombs put on 40 for the second wicket before the the former was out for 21.

Tombs batted well and went on to make 54 with two sixes and seven fours. But March were short on other contributors and it was left to the experienced Steve Hinson, who grafted his way to 31 in the all out total of 151.

Sawston have been in good form this season and had beaten Wisbech just five days earlier and despite losing two early wickets always looked comfortable to score the required runs.

Wilcox did pick up three wickets and Tommy Howgego a brace, but on a very dry wicket March lacked their top-line spinners Lotay and Shardul Brahmbhatt and Sawston reached 152 for seven.

Ringham commented: “It was a blow to start the game without Jivan and we really should have got 20-30 more runs but gave away some silly wickets late on so it was a disappointing total. We should have Shardul and Jivan back for this weekend’s game against Foxton.”

The seconds started their Cambs League season in fantastic style with a 19-run victory at The Avenue on Saturday, against Histon who finished in third spot in Division One last year.

March started well, putting 84 runs on the board without loss in 25 overs. Robert Moden hit 10 boundaries on his way to 52, and David Haslegrave scored 31.

But when they both went there was a mini collapse to 114-5 before Ben Pyle (24) and Stuart Mills (21) put on 38 runs for the sixth wicket.

A handy 25 runs in the final four overs from Richard Green and David Hodson brought a useful total of 185-7.

Histon began well enough but with the introduction of spin at both ends lost wickets. Off-spinner Green and left-armer James Harradine shared six wickets with Green taking 3-39 off his 12 overs and Harradine 3-30.

With Mills back on the field following a twisted ankle, the seamer wrapped up proceedings with figures of 4-37, as Histon were shot out for 166.

It was not such a good story from the March third team who suffered a one-wicket defeat to a young 10-man Longstanton seconds in CCA Junior League Division 2A, on Saturday.

At 36 without loss the home side were coasting at The Neale-Wade until they lost both openers without further score - James Hilliard making 23. And at 59-5 they were shaking their heads wondering what had gone wrong with what appeared to be a strong batting line-up on paper.

Thankfully, Nick Peck hit a spirited 31 and along with Nathan Oliver doubled the total for the sixth wicket. Wickets again tumbled, as March were dismissed for a disappointing 141.

Neil Alger bowled well for March finishing with 4-26 and at the end, the game could have gone either way, but too many loose balls and failing to capture that elusive last wicket resulted in defeat.

A tremendous first-wicket stand of 212 between Manuj Patel and Lewis Hilliard enabled March fourths gain a massive 174-run victory against Histon thirds in CCA Junior League Division 5A.

Patel reached 113 with three sixes and 16 fours and Hilliard slammed 19 boundaries in his 108. That enabled the visitors to produce a 275-7 total, not bad for a side who has suffered relegation in consecutive years.

Sam Mason and stand-in skipper James Shepherd both took three wickets in the 101-8 reply. Mason’s figures were 3-45, while Shepherd took 3-29.

On Sunday Rob Moden produced the best innings of his career for March, when his unbeaten 96 helped the them to their first victory of the season in Rutland League Division 1.

Although Moden has reached three figures before in the lower teams, this must go down as his best – striking 13 boundaries during the massive 153-run win at Stamford.

With Matt Wilcox weighing in with a hard-hit 50, the visitors were able to finish on 217-7.

Stamford, who narrowly won at The Avenue on the opening day, fell apart after tea as Wilcox and teenager Tyler Phillips made in-roads into their batting. The Aussie picked up 2-15 and Phillips 3-15.

With Stuart Mills and Richard Green also picking up two wickets apiece, the 10-man home team were dismissed for a paltry 64 runs.

March seconds suffered a heavy 118 run defeat against an experienced Somersham side in their first Fenland Trophy game at the Avenue.

After the visitors had totalled 214 for 6 in their 40 overs, March slumped to a disappointing 96 all out in only the 22nd over.

The only March players to impress with bat were opener Jake Beart 23 and wicket keeper Gary Nicholls, who hit a swashbuckling 42 off only 32 balls. March collapsed from 32-0 to 47-7 before the late rally.