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Stony Go Third in NCL Premier Division

Published: 4th July 2012 11:09
Stony Stratford greeted the half way mark in the Northants Premier division season with their third consecutive win, the latest instalment of 30 points taking them above Finedon Dolben and into third place in the table.

 Stony's opponents Rushton have managed some decent results this season and it promised to be a close game as Rushton skipper Reynoldson won the toss and elected to bowl at the picturesque village ground.

The hosts struck early with the ball as Matthew Bell bowled Choksi (1) with a skiddy delivery in his first over. Allen and Sandbrook steadied the ship and took the score past 50, playing some tidy shots in the process. Allen made 14 before he was bowled by the gentle inswing of Ben Williamson (2-11) when attempting another drive.

The Stony middle order wobbled but a partnership formed between Sandbrook and Baxter (18) to progress the innings nicely. Sandbrook also shared in partnerships with Pretorius (11) and Bellew (22), and it was with the latter that he brought up his century - a fine innings that yeilded no chances and saw him punish everything loose from the Rushton bowlers.

He was eventually dismissed LBW by Bell for 104 as he attempted to up the run rate, but there were contributions from the Stony tail and the batting side were to complete their 55 overs nine wickets down, scoring a competitive 220 in the process. Matthew Bell finished as the pick of the Rushton Bowlers, picking up 5 wickets in his 17 overs at the cost of 66 runs.

Stony had posted over 200 for the first time in a month, and confidence was high as they approached the task of bowling a strong Rushton upper order out.

The confidence proved to be well founded as George Humphries removed Bell in the second over of the innings, well caught by Avery at slip for just one run. There was further joy for Humphries when he trapped the dangerous Reynoldson LBW for a duck.

Both Humpries (2-23) and fellow opening bowler Steve Bellew bowled with accuracy and movement, and it wasn't long before Bellew joined the party, removing Mansell LBW for 1. Rushton found themselves 4 wickets down within no time as Jackson attempted to pull Bellew but only succeeded in top edging the ball to Ellemore at point.

Dean Joy joined Bradley Armer, and they looked to re-group, settling in and forming a small partnership before Joy fired a straight drive too straight and it flicked the fingertip of bowler Ellemore before crashing into the stumps with Armer short of his ground to see him run out for 15.

Joy aside, the Rushton lower order offered little resistance and the introduction of Ullah yielded quick results as he bowled Hall and Williamson for 4 a piece. Bellew (3-41) picked up his third and final victim - Rushton Keeper Alan Smith (5) falling to a wonderful catch from a diving Miller at short extra-cover. It was left to Ullah to clean up the tail, his four wickets for 18 runs including Joy, who battled his way to 38 in a losing cause.

Stony had wrapped up the Rushton line-up inside 30 overs, and will be encouraged by their recent bowling performances as they head into the second half of the season.

Stony travel to Burton Latimer next week, and will see the game as an opportunity to keep their run of good form going. Burton themselves picked up their first win of the season on Saturday with a narrow one wicket victory over fellow relegation battlers Horton House.

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