Champ-ing at the bit!

PUBLISHED: 11:10 07 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:14 12 May 2010

MARTIN DEAL: Shared a decisive stand with Max Rushden.

MARTIN DEAL: Shared a decisive stand with Max Rushden.

ASHWELL swept aside Steeple Morden to claim the Cambs Junior ­Division Two title and promotion to Division One. With regular opener Pete Davis delayed en route to the ground, Max Rushden moved up the order to open the ­batting, and grabbed his chance with

TO THE MAX: Ashwell’s Max Rushden scored his maiden ton for the club. Picture: DICK HARDING

ASHWELL swept aside Steeple Morden to claim the Cambs Junior ­Division Two title and promotion to Division One.

With regular opener Pete Davis delayed en route to the ground, Max Rushden moved up the order to open the ­batting, and grabbed his chance with both hands, hitting a superb ton.

He and partner Martin Deal were quick to punish any poor balls from Steeple Morden's young pace bowlers, and although Deal lost his off stump in the 14th over, Ashwell already had 94 runs on the board.

Rushden had moved to 50 in double quick time, and together with Steve Parkhouse, he put on 77 for the second wicket.

Parkhouse was bowled for 34, and Rushden followed shortly afterwards for exactly 100 - his maiden century for the club.

At this stage Ashwell were 198-3 off 31 overs.

With seven wickets in hand, the Ashwell middle order had the freedom to go on the ­offensive for the final nine overs, and this paid dividends in spectacular ­fashion.

Gary Simmons hit 41 from 22 balls, while a cultured knock from Tom Wallace saw him pick up 57.

The 300 came up in the penultimate over, as Ashwell finished on 309-5 from their 40 overs.

The Steeple Morden reply got off to a bad start when Martin Talks picked up a wicket in his first over.

The batsmen struggled to live with Talks' pace and accuracy, and he bagged three more wickets to leave the hosts on 7-4.

Although remaining opener Bailey offered some resistance, his teammates could not live with Talks, who picked up four more wickets in two overs to finish with career best figures of 8-10.

It was left to James Higham to take the last two wickets - a fitting way to bring his time with Ashwell to an end before his return to New Zealand this ­winter.

Steeple Morden finished on 39 all out, leaving Ashwell winners by 270 runs.

n A young Ashwell team were defeated in a friendly at Guilden Morden on Sunday.

Morden hit 196-6, with Gary Simmons the pick of the ­Ashwell bowlers, taking 2-20.

In reply, Ashwell slumped badly, and at one point were 13-6.

Although they staged a slight recovery, with Dom Simmons making an unbeaten 49, they were eventually bowled out for 101.

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