Club cricket takes a break next weekend (with the exception of one big game in the Chester League), but there have been some significant results in all the leagues this weekend as the front-runners have started to appear. Unfortunately no games were played in the South West League due to the weather, but here is a round-up of the other league results this week.
Southern Premier League
Loughton beat Brighton by 111 runs - Loughton racked up 272/3 in their 50 overs with major contributions from in form Lauren Onojaife and Beth Langston. In reply ten woman Brighton could only manage to reach 161/7 with Freya Davies (39) and thirteen year old Nancy Harman (37*) the main run scorers.
Finchley beat Bexley by 133 runs - Catherine Dalton hit a fabulous 133 as Finchley also managed to score 272 but for the loss of eight wickets. Alice Davidson-Richards claimed 3/40. When Bexley slipped to 2/2 early in their reply there was no going back and they were bowled out for 139 in their last over. Ria Ravel took 3/17.
Bath beat Hayes by 9 wickets - Bath blew fellow challengers Hayes away despite the return of Laura Marsh to competitive action for Hayes. She was their top scorer with 49 but Hayes could only muster 134 all out as leg-spinner Lauren Shrubsole took 5/25. Sophie Le Marchand (53) and Fran Wilson (46) saw Bath home for the loss of just one wicket, although neither Laura Marsh nor Tash Farrant bowled.
Wokingham beat Hursley by 8 wickets - Another big win with Wokingham bowling out Hursley for 125 in under 40 overs. The wickets were shared around but Sharisa Gumbs topped the bowling with 3/27.
As the league approaches the half-way stage of the season Bath and Finchley are the front-runners having lost only one game each, with Wokingham and Hayes pushing them hard.
Midlands Premier League
Clifton Village beat Burton Latimer by 2 wickets - In a low scoring game 35 runs from Clifton's Esther Stock made all the difference as Clifton chased down Burton Latimer's 135/9 made in their 50 overs. Rebecca Widdowson (2/39), Shelby Sutton (2/16) and Ruth Barron (2/17) all picked up a brace of wickets as BL struggled to score. In reply Clifton were cruising at 70/2 but then Sonia Odedra (25) and Stock fell within two runs of each other and nerves began to jangle. Skipper Jane Smit (20) stepped up to settle them and take her side to the brink of victory before she fell, but it was too late for BL.
Walmley beat Pershore by 128 runs - Every one of the Walmley bats made a decent contribution to their challenging score of 282/6 with Georgia Hennessy (68) being the chief aggressor. In reply Pershore could only get to 154/6 with Naomi Heywood the main contributor with 46.
Meir Heath beat Quatt by 167 runs - Quatt invited Meir Heath to bat and 50 overs later Meir Heath had 295/5 on the board. Shanel Daley (64 off 37 balls), promoted to open, got them off to a flying start, and fellow opener Charlotte Whyle made more serene progress to her first hundred for Meir Heath, finishing on 119. Quatt's reply never really got going and they meandered to 128 all out in 44 overs with Steph Butler finishing with the remarkable figures of 5/9 off 6.4 overs.
Things are hotting up nicely in the Midlands Premier League with Sheffield United, Clifton Village and Walmley all having won four out of five. All have seven to play and you get the feeling that it is going to be nip and tuck for the rest of the season between these three, with Meir Heath throwing the odd spanner in the works.
Cheshire League Division One
Oakmere beat Appleton by 25 runs - Oakmere managed to set Appleton 169 to win after getting to 168/5 off their 40 overs. Dawn Prestige again led the way with the bat for Oakmere making 53, but all of the top order contributed without anyone really cutting loose. Appleton probably fancied their chances of overhauling the target, but lost two early wickets and Lauren O'Reilly, injured in the field, was unable to bat. Emma Barlow (63) and Natalie Lyons (26) rebuilt the innings, but when they both departed the lower order couldn't up the ante and fell short being bowled out for 143 in the 39th over. Prestige rounded off a good day with 3/11.
Bolton Indians beat Stalybridge St Pauls by 183 runs - Bolton Indians took the game away from Stalybridge as they set them a huge target scoring 256/2 in their 40 overs. Bhumika Doshi (116*) hit her second century of the season and Nalisha Patel (98) was out just short of her own century. Stalybridge crumbled to 73 all out with Sophie McArdle grabbing 3/10.
Chester Broughton Hall beat Stockport Trinity by 8 wickets - Stockport could only muster 123/5 in their 40 overs with Katie Paterson hitting 41 of those. Lorna Thomas (60*) and Ali Cutler (44*) guided Chester home after they had lost two very early wickets.
Trafford Metrovics beat Romiley by 56 runs - runs from almost all of the top six saw Trafford MV set 205/5. Charlotte Williams top scored with 47. Romiley were bowled out in the final over of their innings having managed to score only 149 with Anne Monaghan (38) and Penny Critchlow (36) having done their best to keep Romiley in the hunt.
Oakmere's defeat of top placed Appleton means that if they beat Bolton Indians in next week's only game they will go to within one point of the top spot. Bolton slipped into second with another convincing win. If they were to beat Oakmere next week they will go to the top of the table. Appleton cannot really afford to lose any more games this year if they want to remain in contention to retain their title.