Bedford Cricket Club have completed a clean sweep of league titles after a full house of victories on the last weekend of the season.
With nothing confirmed heading into the final round of fixtures, apart from a promotion for the Sunday 1st team, there was still plenty to play for across Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.
After last weekend’s key victory for the Saturday 1st XI against Kempston Hammers, they were in the driving seat as they travelled to Rushton knowing a win would seal the Northamptonshire League Division Five title.
While many would have forgiven a few nerves, Arjun Manku’s five-wicket haul helped Bedford to a convincing 9-wicket victory with the game – and the title – secured by mid afternoon.
Bedford CC move up to Division Four, with the rest of the division moving down to Division Six as the Northamptonshire League restructures.
The Sunday 1st XI had already secured promotion, and only needed three bonus points at Blunham to secure the title. Vedant Somal secured the sixth wicket in a Blunham innings of 157 to take his side over the line.
Shiv Odedra’s 63 from 39 balls set Bedford on the way to reaching the target with over half the innings remaining as a pair of 1st XI titles were confirmed.
Perhaps the most surprising story of the weekend however came in Harrold as the 2nd XI snatched the title from their opponents and league leaders Eaton Bray with a stunning two-run victory.
Starting the day in third place and outside the promotion places, the 2nd XI knew they had to win to gain promotion; with a league title a mere pipe dream.
Their hopes looked to be dashed as they were skittled for just 71 and with Harrold reaching 30-2 in response, it looked to be a case of so near, yet so far.
However, soon enough it was 42-6 and with nerves aplenty around the ground, Bedford grew in confidence with each wicket that fell.
The drama didn’t end there, with Harrold requiring four runs with two wickets remaining; captain Michael Sinha took two wickets in two balls to spark wild celebrations in the Bedford camp.
With promotion confirmed, not many were expecting an Eaton Bray loss at Caddington but their three wicket defeat gave Bedford the title by seven points.
With junior finals taking place on Bank Holiday Monday, and a Northamptonshire Knockout Cup for the Saturday XI, there could yet be more silverware for the club in what has been a stellar season at The Bury.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer at Bedford Cricket Club