Improving Hucknall target another promotion

HANDY ANDY  - -     veteran Andy Wagstaff, who rolled back the years with a half-century for Hucknall 4th
HANDY ANDY - - veteran Andy Wagstaff, who rolled back the years with a half-century for Hucknall 4th

In-form HUCKNALL 3RD suddenly find themselves in with a major chance of promotion after another win in Division J of the Gunn And Moore South Notts League.

The shape of the division has changed dramatically in recent weeks. But after an easy ten-wicket stroll at lowly Basford Mill 2nd last Saturday, Hucknall, who only came up from Division K last season, sit fourth in the table, only nine points behind leaders Gedling and Sherwood 2nd.

They have three matches to play, beginning with a crunch clash at home to Gedling and Sherwood this weekend.

Nine-man Basford Mill, who have yet to taste victory this term, offered little resistance once they had been put into bat. Only two players made double figures, most notably captain Chris Hudson (22), as they were rushed out for just 61.

Most of the wixkets were shared by Nathan Whittamore, who took four for 19 in 10.1 overs, and Anthony Beastall, who took three for nine in ten overs.

Hucknall’s reply was a formality, thanks to the safe hands of veteran duo Graham Caudwell (34 not out) and Ian Lobb (28 not out), both of whom struck six fours.

THE fine form this season of all-rounder Jamie Braybrook at last paid dividends for HUCKNALL 2ND in Division C.

Too often the efforts of Braybrook have gone to waste. But this time, his excellent knock of 78 (12 fours), followed up with a bowling return of four for 17 from 7.2 overs, resulted in a 76-run victory over bottom-of-the-table Newark Ransome and Marles.

Opener Braybrook shared a first-wicket stand of 89 with Tim Buckthorpe (33, six fours) and a measure of how important his 113-ball knock was is that after he was out on 141, Hucknall lost seven wickets for 36 runs. They slid to 177 all out against the bowling of Steve Kennewell (five for 40 in 14.1 overs) and David Nicholson (four for 51 in 15).

Thankfully, the collapse didn’t matter because the locals proceeded to dismiss Newark for 101, with all five bowlers taking at least one wicket.

Alongside Braybrook, the pick of the quintet were new-ball duo William Spray (three for 17 in 11 overs) and Jimmy Guthrie (one for 32 in 14).

Home skipper Robert Matchett (45) was the only batsman able to resist a superb bowling effort by Hucknall that killed off any lingering fears of relegation.

BOTTOM-of-the-table ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE 2ND are almost certain to be relegated after receiving a roasting from promotion-pushing Lowdham in Division H.

Lowdham amassed a mammoth total of 352 for five in their allotted 45 overs to set up a crushing 190-run victory.

Three home players helped themselves to half-centuries -- Damien Greaves (96), John Noall (89) and Sam Huckerby (72).

To their credit Rolls did at least bat out their overs in reply, finishing on 142 for five. Patrick Delahunty made 35, while Ross Miller took three for 28 for Lowdham.

A BLAST from the past by Andy Wagstaff could not prevent HUCKNALL 4TH slipping to a two-wicket defeat against Thrumpton 3rd in Division N.

Opener Wagstaff made 75 (12 fours) to help Hucknall to 177 for five, which also included 49 (one six and six fours) from Paul Close and 24 not out from James Lobb. But he was scuppered by another veteran -- ex-Notts CCC player Andy Pick.

Pick went in at number ten with Thrumpton’s reply in tatters on 84 for eight. But he fired an unbeaten 69 in a matchwinning, unbroken stand of 94 with Mark Priestley (23 not out).