Ben’s blast highlights Town’s bright future

Uppingham's Ben Harford scored a brilliant century
Uppingham's Ben Harford scored a brilliant century

A BRILLIANT century from teenager Ben Harford is further evidence that Uppingham’s youth policy is beginning to reap rich rewards.

Sixteen-year-old Ben Harford batted throughout the innings as bottom-side Uppingham 2nds belied their lowly league position to beat third-placed Loddington and Mawsley in the Rutland League’s third division.

It was good all-round performance from Uppingham but it was Harford’s innings that stood out.

Former first teamer and fellow opener Adi Salt said: “It was a joy to watch Ben scoring 119 not out in a match winning performance.”

Uppingham fielded first with Tom Roberts and Stu Lambie opening the attack and a smart piece of fielding from Harry Butchart running out opener Rob Johnson for 4.

Josh Plowright and Luke Hanley then put on more than a hundred for Loddington’s second wicket before Ed Scott took two good catches in the deep.

Harry Butchart, Will Armstrong and Andy Sayers supported captain Jamie Wild in difficult bowling conditions as Loddington ended on 216-5.

In reply Uppingham got off to a good start with Harford despatching the ball all around the ground.

Adi Salt was caught on 30 and then Tom Hubbard supported Harford well. The pair put together a partnership of 86 before Hubbard was bowled for 35. And Harford kept batting until the very end with Uppingham finishing on 220-4. Richard West umpired and Mascott Pigs sponsored the match.

Mark Cox carried his bat for the bulk of Uppingham Town 1st’s innings against Bourne in division one but his unbeaten 99 couldn’t save Uppingham from a four wicket defeat at Bourne in division one.

Uppingham suffered an early shock when in-form batsman Jamie Dumford was dismissed first ball, caught by Robert Bentley off the bowling of brother Tom Bentley. But Jamie Richardson (18), playing his first game for the first team, and Cox steadied the innings with a partnership of 53. Jake Norton added 25 but on a day when the spin bowlers were in control, both sides made runs hard to come by.

Ben Stroud (1 for 25) and Will Trim with just 35 runs from his 9 overs slowed Uppingham’s run rate and they ended on 170 for 4 wickets in 44 overs.

Craig Williams (18) and Pete Morgan (28) opened the Bourne innings, with Morgan batting aggressively to score all his runs in boundaries before being caught by a juggling catch from Cox, off the bowling of Alex Ashwin.

Will Edwards (44) batted solidly at number three but was caught out by an excellent catch from Danny Dumford.

Robert Dunn (26), and Will Trim (23no) moved Bourne’s score on as Bourne eased their way to victory in the 42nd over.

Uppingham found fielding difficult in wet conditions and will again rue dropped catches. Scott Green was the pick of the Uppingham bowlers with 3 for 37 runs from 12 overs.