Winning streak ends

BUNTINGFORD S fine run of six consecutive victories came to an end on Saturday at Norfolk Road against a strong Theydon Bois team. Batting first, Theydon amassed 278-5 from their 45 overs. A fine 117 from Pieters was backed up by Bullivant (55), Sartoret

BUNTINGFORD'S fine run of six consecutive victories came to an end on Saturday at Norfolk Road against a strong Theydon Bois team.

Batting first, Theydon amassed 278-5 from their 45 overs. A fine 117 from Pieters was backed up by Bullivant (55), Sartoretti (40) and McKwaine (41 not out).

One of the features of Buntingford's success this season has been their bowling and outcricket. Sadly this was very much below par on the day and Theydon took full advantage of this.

Bullivant was dropped when he was on 10 and Pieters was dropped on 50.

The batsman were particularly severe on Chris Chambers who returned figures of 10-1-78-2.

Buntingford's reply got off to a very poor start with five of the first six batsman totalling 10 runs or less to leave Buntingford reeling at 53-5.

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After skipper Barry Walker had departed for 14, Buntingord were 83-6. Francois Dixon then joined Richard Pearce and together they set about building a recovery.

They did that to good effect and they raced the score along with 66 runs coming in just nine overs, before Pearce was out for 51.

Dixon was then joined by Izuru Channa and together they hit the ball to all parts of the field, scoring 53 in five overs.

During this period Theydon started to worry about the fast scoring rate and cracks started to appear in their cricket.

However Channa was then run out for 16 and Dixon followed soon after for a swashbuckling 66 that contained four sixes and six fours.

Theydon duly wrapped up the innings with Buntingford finishing all out for 220, with six overs still remaining.

Skipper Barry Walker said: "The two dropped catches almost certainly cost us the match. Between them, the two batsman that were dropped put on an additional 107 runs.

"This would have meant us chasing about 170-180 runs to win instead of 279. However, cricket is all about taking your chances when they come along. Today, Theydon took theirs and sadly we did not."

Buntingford II travelled to unbeaten and joint league leaders Thaxted on Saturtday and went down by 109 runs.

Batting first, Thaxted started well, losing only one wicket in reaching 119 after the first 20 overs. Some fine tight bowling by Steve Baker and Colin Chambers then slowed things down, and soon after their introduction opener K Wood was out for 69 to a good catch behind the stumps by Mike Townsend off the bowling of Chambers.

A further two wickets fell quite quickly, the one that saw the dismissal of Willingale was a brilliant one-handed caught and bowled by Chambers.

This left Thaxted on 136-4 and the game poised quite evenly.

However, disappointingly for Buntingford, some fine batting from M Wood (42) and young batsman S Smith (78), saw them swing the game back in Thaxted's favour with a stand of 71 before Wood was out with the score on 207-5.

Smith then shared a stand of 65 with Murphy to take them to 272 before he was bowled. Buntingford did not help their cause with some pretty indifferent bowling and outfield cricket, which included three dropped catches.

Colin Chambers was the exception, bowling a fine spell to finish with figures of 10-0-54-4. Thaxted finished on 277-7 from their 45 overs.

In reply, Buntingford were soon in trouble, losing both Townsend (4) and Poulton (1) to leave them on 23-two.

McNamara then joined opener Baker and they took the score to 45 before the later was bowled for 20. Wurr was then bowled for a quick 14.

Chambers joined McNamara and together they put on 47 before he was out for 27. Some lusty hitting by Goldie saw him reach 30 before he was unluckily run out with the score on 157-7.

McNamara went soon after for a fine knock of 38 and quickly after that Thaxted took the remaining wickets to leave Buntingford all out for 168 with 12 overs remaining.

On Sunday, Buntingford entertained Bengeo at Norfolk Road in a 40-over friendly match.

Batting first, Bengeo scored at a reasonable rate and they reached 103-2 after 22 overs. Hogg scored a fine 56 before being well caught on the boundary by Channa. Ruskin (40 not out) and Seeley (28) then saw Bengeo to a challenging total of 227-8.

In reply, Buntingford started poorly. Martin Noote was out for a duck and two more wickets fell quickly and cheaply to see Buntingford on 17-3.

Scott Nash was beginning to get the score moving, and he shared a stand of 57 with Stuart Calder before Calder was out to leave Buntingford on 74-4.

Nash was joined by skipper Chris Chambers, and with the captain playing the holding role, Nash really set about the Bengeo bowling.

Hitting the ball to all parts of the field, he scored a magnificent 115 runs that contained 19 boundaries.

When he was finally out, he and Chambers had put on 138 in 18 overs to take the score to 212-5.

Chambers also played a fine innings before eventually being bowled for 57. With Dixon being bowled for just four and then Rubul going first ball, Buntingford still needed two to win.

With Bengeo now sensing that they might still pull off an unlikely win, Dan Duff came to the wicket.

Having a wild slash at his first ball that was a wide, he then composed himself to play a fine cut shot to the boundary to secure victory for Buntingford by two wickets.