BURGHLEY Park have beaten Cople Argus to clinch the Hunts League’s Division Two title in their final match of the summer.
An excellent all-round bowling performance set up an easy task for the batsmen who cruised to 119-6 in 31 overs. Burghley’s main rivals, Blunham still have one match to play but trail the Bears by too many points to steal the title.
Against Cople Argus on Saturday, Burghley were asked to bowl first on a good track, a testament to Oli Hall who has provided consistently great tracks this season. It soon became clear that Cople had decided to try to take the game to Burghleys’ opening pair of Tom Dolby and Mat Simpson, who have proved so devastating throughout the season.
Inconsistent stroke play made for a frustrating first hour for Burghley but they were soon rewarded with the top order wickets courtesy of catches from Chris Meadows off the bowling of Simpson and Michael Jones.
Bowling changes of Jones and Will Felgate kept the Cople batsmen on their toes with a mixture of line and length bowling, and some decent short balls.
Burghley held their catches, with Bahle Mhlanga producing another fine catch and keeper Chris Meadows taking a swift stumping off the bowling of Simpson which applied pressure when needed and restricted Cople to 144 off 30.4 overs.
After tea the opening pair of David Cannie and Oli Lindley were reunited after Cannie had been sidelined due to a dislocated thumb.
Cannie was unlucky to be well-caught at point in the first over, bringing Nick Sudbury to the crease. He set about steadying the ship with Lindley and the pair duly made in-roads to the Cople target.
Cople made the most of their chances and soon had more Burghley batsmen back in the clubhouse. Sudbury was out cheaply for 7, Vince Spurr for a duck and Chris Meadows for just 5. But Lindley stayed at the crease, forming the backbone of the Burghley innings and finishing on 41.
Mhlanga chipped in with a valuable 20 but lost his wicket to the unusual bowling of Oakley Greaves, before Felgate and Stuart Biggs swung the game back Burghley’s way. With some sharp running and committed stroke play the pair saw The Bears home, Biggs finishing off the innings and wrapping up the title with one of his trademark sixes.
Burghley’s Chris Meadows said: “There have been several outstanding performances over the season by individuals most notably Tom Dolby, Mat Simpson and Michael Jones with the ball and Oli Lindley, Nick Sudbury, John Meadows and Rob Chorlton with the bat.
“But it is the spirit and team approach of all the players who have worn the Burghley park shirt which has made the season, on and off the field.”
The triumph marks a remarkable turnaround for Burghley Park who almost folded a few years ago. The Sunday XI also enjoyed a great season and the U9s tasted success.
The club has also won the Huntingdonshire NatWest OSCA for Cricket Force and has been named as The Cricketer Magazine’s Club of the Month for August.
Several individuals have been a major factor in this change of fortune including club chairman David Billings and club captain Chris Meadows whose tireless energy, enthusiasm and passion for the club has reignited cricket at Burghley Park.
P W L NR Bt Bl Pts
Burghley Park 18 12 4 2 59 77 283
Blunham 17 12 3 2 60 66 260
Cople Argus 18 8 7 3 62 62 238
Nassington 2nd 17 9 6 2 51 66 234
Southill Park 18 8 6 4 49 60 227
Houghton W 17 6 8 3 48 46 188
Sawtry 18 4 10 4 42 43 179
AK XI 18 5 8 5 40 39 141
Biggleswade 17 3 12 2 27 43 114
Bharat Sports 18 2 5 11 24 26 -203
BURGHLEY PARK beat COPLE ARGUS by 6 wkts
G. Gregory c Meadows b Simpson 13
D. Moss c Meadows b Jones 27
M. Abbott c Spurr b Dolby 4
R. Draper c Mhlanga b Simpson 37
O. Greaves b Jones 12
P. Cooley c Meadows b Dolby 4
O. Relf st Meadows b Simpson 0
P. Halliday not out 3
D. Skipsey lbw Simpson 0
J. Smith b Dolby 0
Bowling: T Dolby 11.4-2-34-3; M Simpson 8-2-36-4; M Jones 7-0-16-2; W Felgate 4-0-16-0.
D. Cannie c Moss b Draper 0
O. Lindley b Moss 41
N. Sudbury c Halliday b Moss 7
B. Mlanga b Greaves 20
V. Spurr lbw Greaves 0
C. Meadows c Relf b Moss 5
S. Biggs not out 23
W. Felgate not out 12
Total (6 wkts) 119
Bowling: R Draper 7-1-20-1; O Greaves 12-3-28-2; D Moss 10-0-50-3; G Gregory 2-0-16-0.