Dinton Cricket Club’s future in Division Two of the Home Counties Premier League is looking increasingly bleak following another difficult week.
On the eve of their latest game at Finchampstead, Dinton were dealt a significant blow when club captain and this season’s leading run scorer Alister Gibbins resigned and left the club with immediate effect having felt he had taken the team as far as he could.
That left Tim Brooker to take over as captain and he oversaw a much improved display against Finchampstead on Saturday despite them going down to another defeat.
Having won the toss, Dinton elected to field first in the wet conditions. The new ball combination of Nheem Amin and Kelvin Burrows bowled good opening spells, creating a number of opportunities.
Unfortunately none were taken which allowed the Finchampstead opening pair to put on 48 for the first wicket.
There were useful contributions by all the home batters with opener Max Stephenson making 74 to lead the way.
Dinton’s bowlers worked hard throughout the innings and Kelvin Burrows was rewarded by returning excellent figures of 4-45 from his 10 overs. Youngster Will Fisher also bowled an excellent spell, and the home side finished on 263-6 from their 50 overs.
In reply Ash Smith and Phil Arnold got Dinton off to a solid start, but as has been a problem all season, a cluster of wickets fell to leave the Oxford Road boys up against it.
Some spirited and skilful batting in the middle order by Neil Roberts, Ali Martin and Najam Rehman gave Dinton a glimmer of hope, but overseas quick bowler Lockie Ferguson returned to mop up the tail and Dinton finished on 142.
Brooker was proud of his team’s efforts, saying: “We have had a tough couple of months results-wise. When you add in the upheaval on the eve of the game the lads were really up against it today.
“The team unity was excellent however, and although we didn’t get the result today, there was definitely improvement which we aim to continue for the rest of the season.”
Dinton entertain Datchet this weekend.
In the Mid Bucks Cricket League, Wendover’s first team elected to field first away to Holmer Green IIs in their Division One clash.
The bowlers regularly troubled the batsmen with both Sam Boardman and Tom McPartlan taking early wickets before James Heafford made inroads in the middle order with 3-20 off eight overs but Holmer Green finished on 167-8 off their 40 overs.
Wendover’s run chase started well with George Robinson playing a typically aggressive innings although wickets fell at the other end.
Seb Barr made a rapid 21, while Robinson reached his 50 in very quick time and was finally bowled for 72 with the score at 88-5 off only 12 overs.
Heafford then played a measured innings of 28 not out that helped guide Wendover to a narrow two wicket victory at 170-8 off 31 overs.
Wendover IIs fielded first at home to Widmer End in Division Two and the visitors had reached 50 off 11 overs before Matt Gomm struck.
Jonathan Seabrook’s off-spin then accounted for the top order and, aided by some great catching including one by Tom Grace running back to take a skier just inside the boundary, he went on to claim 5-26 from his nine overs.
Max Wilkinson (2-12) and Jamie Matthews (2-18), also backed up with good catches to wrap the innings up at 136.
Wendover’s reply got off to the worst possible start with a needless run out before Tom Grace made 23 and Bob Glue 18, but the innings then dramatically collapsed to 68-6.
Joe Glue and Wilkinson shared a crucial seventh-wicket stand and looked in little trouble until Glue went for a risky second run and was run out for 15. The remaining wickets didn’t last long and Wendover were all out for 106 to lose by 30 runs.
In the Cherwell League, Chearsley’s brittle batting plunged to a new low when dismissed cheaply after being inserted by rivals Kimble.
They were all out for 36 with only Ed Holland making double figures (12). Messrs Agace (3-10) and Semmens (5-12) did most of the damage.
It took the hosts only five overs to knock off the runs without losing a wicket.
The defeat leaves Chearsley two points adrift at the foot of Division Four and needing wins from two of the last three games to avoid relegation.
Chearsley IIs fared better in their last league game.
Losing the toss, they were inserted by nine-man Dinton IIIs and the innings was dominated by Duncan Stratford, in only his third game of the season, as he was last man out for a record-breaking 152.
He featured in stands of 89 with Mark Claridge (23), 82 with veteran Pete Redfern (21) and skipper Lazaruk (30no). The latter declared on 287-5 in the 42nd over, leaving them 48 overs to bowl out the visitors.
A gritty opening stand between Matt Garrod (38) and Paul Reynolds, who finished 57no, laid the foundation of an eventual score of 175-4, with Stratford finishing with 2-47.
The winning draw confirms the IIs finished the season in fourth place.