Both Bedford Cricket Club and Kempston Hammers continued their fine form on Saturday as their fight for the title in the Northamptonshire Cricket League continued with two dominant victories.
Bedford beat Milton Keynes Air while the Hammers dispatched Irthlingborough with ease as both sides continue to set the pace at the top of Division Five.
Thomas Kelk’s side travelled to Furzton Sports Ground in Milton Keynes looking for a sixth consecutive victory and despite a tough afternoon on a tricky pitch, beat Milton Keynes Air by 71 runs.
Bedford, batting first, posted a par score of 142 with Jonny Dove’s stoic 54 providing the backbone of an innings that required patience ahead of Bedford’s usual endeavour.
Their opponents could only muster half of the total, with Shiv Odedra (4-27) and Jake Brown (3-36) doing the majority of the damage, as Jonathan Huggins took four catches behind the stumps.
Gavin Howson’s 87 helped Kempston Hammers post a mighty 280 at Irthlingborough, with Nigel Thorn (53) and Pratik Patel’s 49 off 31 balls also contributing to the considerable total.
Irthlingborough never looked like getting close, with Martin McLennan (4-16) continuing his fine form with ball in hand, ably supported by Richard Darwin’s 4-17, as the Northamptonshire side could only muster 109.
Their closest challengers, Bugbrooke, faltered again losing at Loddington and Mawsley, leaving Bedford top of the league by three points from Kempston Hammers, who have a key game in hand.
Bedford’s Sunday 1st XI remain top of Division Two in the Bedfordshire County League after most of the games in their division were wiped out by the inclement weather.
The Under 13’s started the week looking to make progress on the regional stage, but fell at the semi-final hurdle against a strong Worcester side.
They did however win the third place play-off against Norfolk’s Horsford Cricket Club, claiming third place in the ECB regional event, and 12th nationally.
Closer to home, the Under 13 ‘A’ side did however close out a successful league season with a 21-run victory against closest rivals Biddenham.
Bedford posted 163-4 on Tuesday evening, with James Hardy top scoring with an unbeaten 32, supported by Mustafa Mughal who scored 30 and was one of a host of bowlers to take a wicket.
Biddenham could only reach 142 in response, Conor Shiel top scoring with 28. Bedford go on to play Lutonians for the Bedfordshire title on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Under 15’s also took another step towards their divisional title with a 7-wicket win against Olney as Hugh Williams took 3-4 in restricting Olney to 94.
Cassius Hudson and Rohit Mehmi both scored 32 as Bedford coasted home.
The focus now turns to the conclusion of both the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire Leagues with all of Bedford’s teams still in the hunt for promotion.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer for Bedford Cricket Club