CRICKET: Barrowden are gunning for promotion

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OUTSTANDING innings from Sam Hodson and Chris White gave Wakerley and Barrowden two victories from two enthralling encounters last weekend.

Fielding first in Saturday’s friendly at Pytchley, Barrowden were unlucky not to make early inroads before Jonny White made the breakthrough with the score on 48.

Glenn Moody claimed a wicket in the next over and the game swung back in Barrowden’s favour. He picked up a second wicket soon after, Bob White taking the catch to dismiss Chambers for 8.

A 69-run partnership between S Patel and Paul Dent brought the home side back into the match after drinks, with Patel proving to be the Pytchley talisman making 74, including nine fours and 3 sixes before being adjudged LBW to Chris White.

Jonny White then removed Asgeravy for 0, caught by Moody, and Chris had Goodliffe caught at slip by Hodson late on as the home side closed on 167-6 from their 40 overs.

Skipper Chris was the pick of the bowlers, taking 2-9 from 8 overs.

In reply, Barrowden lost Steve Chivers (4) and Jonny White (9) early on, but a partnership of 70 between Hodson and Chris White gave Barrowden the upper hand.

White made 26 before being caught at mid on off Patel but Hodson continued to bat beautifully, hitting 12 fours and 1 six in a season’s best of 80. Tom Wilkins played well for 21 but was caught as the run rate began to slow. Fraser Wright and Gareth Packer were the two men at the crease in the final over with just four required for victory and, after picking up just two runs off the first five balls, Packer smashed a four to seal a 3-wicket win.

For every bit as nervy as Saturday was at the end, Sunday was worse for Barrowden.

Having lost Jonny White, Hodson, Chivers and Matt Green with the score on just 16, Barrowden were in big trouble in their second versus third Rutland League Division 7 fixture with Market Deeping 2nds.

Skipper Chris White took on the challenge and played a crucial innings to get the Rutland side up to a defendable total. Assisted by Tom Wilkins, who continued his fine form, making 13, White lead the recovery, assisted by Bob White (13) as the scoreboard began to tick over nicely. White moved to his first 50 of the season as the score went to 100-6, and a 69-run partnership with Fraser Wright (12) for the seventh wicket got Barrowden back in the game.

Having struck nine fours and two sixes in his 90, White fell with just two overs remaining, with Barrowden eventually dismissed for 159, with James the pick of the Deeping attack, taking 4-26.

Barrowden needed to make early inroads to stand a chance of defending their total and Jonny White and Matt Green provided just that. After four overs the Deeping scoreboard read 1-3, with White taking two wickets and Green one.

As Deeping began to rebuild, White picked up the wicket of Davies, and when Sam Rees removed Pateman and Sam Pickering in successive overs, Barrowden were sensing victory.

Rees picked up a third wicket in a wonderful spell of off-spin bowling, Hodson taking the catch at slip to remove Smith, before Chris White took the final three wickets - two caught behind by Tom Wilkins - as Deeping were dismissed for 61 with only Pateman (15) and Davies (14) making double figures. Jonny White and Rees finishing with 3-11 and Chris took 3-18 with Matt Green taking 1-18.

The win strengthens Barrowden’s grip on second place in the table, 32 points behind leaders Hampton with three games in hand, and 12 points clear of Spalding in third.

Skipper Chris was understandably thrilled with both victories, saying: “Sunday was an unbelievable performance.

“We started very badly with the bat, mainly due to some quality bowling from the Deeping lads, something we clearly took note of and used ourselves. Jonny and Matt bowled brilliantly early on and put us in a great position, and then Sam bowled possibly his best spell yet and showed why he’s a very good player.

“The lads have been quietly talking about promotion in recent weeks and we’ve had our last three opposition wish us luck in Division 6 next year but we’re not looking that far ahead.

“It’s a bit cliche, but we need to just keep performing well and see what happens. With Sam Hodson batting the way he is - especially the knock on Saturday where he played some phenomenal shots - and other lads chipping in with runs, wickets and catches, the future’s looking very bright for us right now.”