It’s three out of three for classy Ashwell

ASHWELL made it three wins out of three in Cambridgeshire Junior Division 2 with a 117-run victory at Haslingfield on Saturday. Having been asked to bat first, the Ashwell openers found it comfortable enough to stay at the crease, but rather less easy to

ASHWELL made it three wins out of three in Cambridgeshire Junior Division 2 with a 117-run victory at Haslingfield on Saturday.

Having been asked to bat first, the Ashwell openers found it comfortable enough to stay at the crease, but rather less easy to score quick runs.

Haslingfield's opening bowler Taylor (0-27 from 10 overs) kept things very tight and conceded only two boundaries to put pressure on Ashwell's batsmen.

And after an opening stand of 71 in 16 overs, Jonathan Merrell (28) perished in trying to hit over the top.

Opening partner Pete Davis continued confidently, and added a further 67 runs in partnership with Gary Simmons who made a rapid 34 from 38 balls.

From this position, Ashwell were able to attack the Haslingfield support bowling, with Davis anchoring the innings with a well made 71.

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Tom Wallace was equally impressive in the closing overs and made 27 not out as the Ashwell innings closed at 199 for 3.

The Haslingfield reply got off to a slow start against some accurate bowling from Matt Skelding (five overs for 7 runs), and never really gained momentum. Gavin Donald bowled with good pace and took 2-24, as Haslingfield went past the half-way stage of their innings at 65 for 2.

From there the end came very rapidly as Gary Simmons took 3-10, and Russell Kemp recovered from an early wayward spell to finish with the excellent figures of 5 for 20 to leave Haslingfield all out for 82.

- ASPENDEN Standon & Puckeridge pulled off a superb Keatley Cup win over premier division Champions Buntingford.

Captain Mark Potter chose to field, with Sapsford and Pankhurst opening the bowling.

Both bowled straight and full and gave the Buntingford batsman very little room to play their shots.

Sapsford ran out their opener and Baxter came on to take two wickets, both the result of two great acrobatic catches by Busby.

Buntingford's frustration showed as great Aspenden fielding denied them a number of boundaries throughout.

Chambers was Buntingford's main threat with the bat and Aspenden did superbly to end their opponents' innings on 111-3 after 16 overs.

Groom and Busby opened the batting for Aspenden, with Busby going early in as Aspenden struggled to 4-1 off three overs.

But Groom opened up and hit some big shots with man-of-the-match James Williams (44 not out) setting up an exciting finale.

Groom went, as did Markham, to leave Williams and the in-form Potter (20 not out) at the crease.

With the game nearing a close the pressure seemed to get to Buntingford as they dropped a number of simple catches, with Potter hooking a clumsy ball for a massive six to help settle his side's nerves.

Williams was in top form and found the gaps, while Potter sealed victory when he smashed Pearce for four.

Michael Strange said: "This was probably the best all-round performance for many a year on The Green."

- ASPENDEN Standon & Puckeridge went top of the league with a great win over Potter Street.

Against one of the division's stronger bowling attacks, the Aspenden players carried out their batting plan to perfection, with an opening stand of 78 between Michael Strange and Mathieu Booth creating the ideal platform.

When Booth fell for a solid 28, Strange and Simon Groom made a partnership of 61, before the latter was bowled for 21.

Strange went 16 runs later for a well-compiled 82 to put Potter Street back in the game.

However, a further partnership of 64 between Mark Potter and John Yates followed to ensure that Aspenden retained the upper hand.

The visitors closed on 219-4 with Potter being stumped off the last ball for a superb 52.

The Potter Street reply began against some controlled bowling from Ben Sapsford and Miles Thompson.

Some panicky running and poor shot selection led to Katoch self- destructing as Potter bowled him for 28.

Wise joined Wager at the wicket for Potter Street, and they continued to play solidly.

By now the rain was falling and the bowlers could not grip the ball and bolwed a series of full tosses.

This period of wayward bowling enabled Potter Street to progress to requiring a little over 100 with nine wickets in hand.

But Pankhurst and Albon found the ball easier to control as Aspenden began to place a stranglehold on the game, with Wager, Lenihan, and Ahmed falling in quick succession.

The writing was on the wall for Potter Street, as first Wise and then Sherjeel threw their wickets away with soft run outs, with Albon continuing to bowl well, and Groom's second catch removed Tahir off his own bowling.

With nine wickets down and Potter Street needing 21 off three overs, Strange wrapped things up by bowling Khawata and sealing victory for Aspenden by 19 runs.

- REED seconds went down to Welwyn thirds on Saturday, despite a record-breaking partnership, and their highest score of the season.

Mark King and Ben Bowles set a new second-wicket partnership.

They put on nearly 150 runs before Bowles was out for 48.

King, with fine timing and good shot selection, went on to hit his maiden club century, retiring on 127, as Reed scored 249-3.

But Welwyn raced to an astonishing nine-wicket win, Driver 130 not out, and Willis 70 not out.