A tremendous weekend for the first’s with emphatic back to back wins against Stoughton and Thurnby in the league on Saturday and Leicester Ivanhoe in the Challenge Cup on Sunday. The boys moved to the top of the Everards Premier on Saturday after dismissing the hosts for 83 from 37 overs. Bowling honours went to Darren Shaw (3/10) and the recalled Joe Cuthbert (4/12) who took the MVP yellow cap (picture above). In spite of failures from Craves, PJ and Aadil, Saif Bhojani ensured that there were no further alarms as he finished unbeaten on 42 having returned to the top of the order. The win was secured inside 24 overs by a margin of 7 wickets and a maximum point haul.
On Sunday we welcomed the highly fancied Leicester Ivanhoe to Fleckney Rd for a tough looking Challenge Cup tie. Skipper Craven asked our guests to bat first on a terrific looking track and their feared batting line up was reduced to 32/3 as Drives and Aamir started to find their radar. The dangerous Punchard threatened to underpin an imposing target as the fightback began but once he was removed by Broughts in his second spell the innings subsided somewhat and Ivanhoe were dismissed for 181 off the penultimate ball of their 40 overs.
Only downside was the fractured and dislocated little finger suffered by veteran all rounder Daz Shaw in attempting to take a catch. Having spent the afternoon at Kettering A&E you can be sure that he will look after himself better in future!
In response, a second wicket stand of 140 between Matt Craven and PJ took us to the verge of victory before the skipper delighted the large crowd by getting himself out to a rank long hop! Aadil then constructed a classy 0* whilst PJ ended the game with 2 4’s and a straight 6 to finish unbeaten on 91.
A big 2 weeks ahead with games against Syston and Market Harborough await, and a chance to maintain the current momentum into the 2nd half of the season.
The 2nd’s had a good win against Countesthorpe to move themselves up to 4th place in Division 1, dismissing their guests for 115 inside 39 overs. Dave Whitmore returned KCC best figures of 6/27 from his 10 overs, and was well supported by Jai with 2/18 from his 8 overs.
In response, despite slipping to 17/3, Peely (29), and Monik with a 2nd Team best 46 steadied the ship and Thommo’ saw us over the line at the end for a comfortable victory.
The 3rd XI welcomed Northampton Saints for a fixture which last year saw some of the ugliest moments of the 2012 season and we picked a side capable of handling pressure with Dave Pounds and Craig Newby drafted in to bolster the middle order. Upon winning the toss and electing to bat, the virgin partnership of Henry and Wilko were put together to begin proceedings and all appeared well in the camp until a ball wide of off stump got big on Henners and he cut one to backward point with the score on 15. LJ strode out to the crease with his usual pomp and things began to go our way as he and Mick put on 40 for the next wicket before LJ miss read a slower ball and chipped an easy catch to cover for a decent 27. DP joined Wilko who was nicely poised to make a big score until he inexplicably got run out for a well made 49. One big hitting hairy hero was replaced by another as Craig Newby took to the crease for his 3rd team debut and he signalled his intent with his first scoring shot of an enormous six straight down the ground! Rob Ellwood and Jonny B steered us to a final total of 219 for 7.
In response JB raced in from the pavilion end and was well supported by a miserly spell from Tej at the other end and Saints first 10 overs slipped by with just 20 on the board and one wicket. At drinks Saints were 55 for 1 from 18 overs and KCC chins were already down. A hero was asked for by the captain and Ollie Lodge stepped up to the mark bowling 11 dot balls before dismissing Scott with a sharp and accurate Yorker. Following tight spells from Windy and WIlko it was Lodge again who got the break through in dismissing Swann with a run out that struck Ollie on the foot as he was bowling and left a backing up batsmen floundering at his ill fortune. Saints manouvered their way to 180 for 6 in their allotted 50.
A close game with everyone contributing and at least 33 people watching was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Despite the scenes of 2012 Saints were exemplary in their behaviour on and off the field and as much as we should remember poor behaviour we should certainly highlight the sportsmanship of two players walking when they nicked off and Swann taking his bizarre dismissal with exceptional grace. The lads took 15 Points and are now in 4th place 30 points from a promotion spot with all to play for and 12 games of the season left to go.
The 4’s slipped to an unexpected defeat at Enderby after a top order collapse saw them slump to 32/7. A recovery led by Lee Butler and well supported by Dunc, Ben and Chris saw the lads post a respectable 135. In response the guys fought well and took 7 scalps of their own to make a game of things with 2 wickets for, Harrison, Ben and Dunc. The lads have slipped to 4th place but are well placed to mount a promotion push in the 2nd half of the season.