2021 was as perfect a season as you can get for Bedford Cricket Club, with three league titles translating into three promotions into 2022, where the club have made a solid start in higher divisions.
Thomas Kelk led his Saturday 1st XI side to the Northamptonshire Cricket League Division Five title last season and life in Division Four has started swimmingly.
Kelk (52) and Rohit Mehmi (63) staged a Bedford comeback from 29-4 in the opening fixture at Rushden and Higham Town en route to a total of 234.
The Rushden chase was a see-saw one but they could only reach 230-8 thanks to 3-51 from Luton Stonier and some late wickets for Sam Till as Bedford squeezed home by 4 runs.
The past weekend saw the side make it two from two with victory against Carrib United at The Bury with Bedford bowling their opponents out for 121.
Last season’s stand out player of the season, Shiv Odedra secured 3-38 alongside 3-24 for fellow opening bowler Connor Andrews in what was a brilliant bowling display.
The chase was fraught and fragmented but maximum points were secured with a 4-wicket victory with Bedford sitting top of Division Four in the early stages.
Sunday’s Bedfordshire County Cricket League kicked off yesterday (Sunday 7th May) with mixed fortunes for both of Bedford’s senior sides.
Arjun Manku’s 1st XI were promoted to Division One last season and kicked their season off with a 5-wicket victory against Biggleswade.
Biggleswade were bowled out for 154 despite some late heroics from Thomas Boyd (45) but Jonny Dove’s composed half century saw Bedford home with seven overs to spare.
The 2nd XI beat Harrold on the final day of last season to secure the league title, but Harrold had their revenge on the opening day of the 2022 season with a 7-wicket win.
Bedford could only muster 185 batting first but a swashbuckling 84 off 70 balls for Cameron Montieth as well as 45 from 25 for Harry Tongue saw Harrold home with ease.
Mixed fortunes for juniors
The past week has also seen the beginning of midweek junior cricket, with action for the Under 9’s all the way through to the Under 15’s.
Ampthill Town U15’s got the better of Bedford on Thursday night, winning by 11 runs.
Fadil Jamil’s unbeaten 30 helped Ampthill to 105-7 with Heath Clarke and Rylan Sellers in the wickets for Bedford, but they could only reach 94 in response.
The Under 13’s had more luck as they hosted Biddenham on Tuesday evening; a superb fielding display restricting Biddenham to just 96-9 which Bedford chased with seven overs to spare.
There were also a pair of victories for the Under 11 ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides; the ‘A’ side prevailing by a single run against Queens Park while the ‘B’ side had a more comfortable morning with a six-wicket win at Olney.
With Under 9 age group games taking place as well as All Star cricket on Friday night, The Bury on Church Lane has been a hub of activity, with a busy season to come for all ages.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer for Bedford Cricket Club