Skipper backs March to achieve survival target

PUBLISHED: 20:57 28 June 2017

March batsman Brandon Phillips is out lbw during their defeat to Eaton Socon. Picture: IAN CARTER

March batsman Brandon Phillips is out lbw during their defeat to Eaton Socon. Picture: IAN CARTER

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Captain Tyler Phillips is confident March Town can survive in the Cambs & Hunts Premier League top flight.

They slipped to a seventh Whiting & Partners Division One loss of the summer last Saturday – although their efforts in defeat to Eaton Socon at The Avenue lifted them one point and one place above the drop-zone.

March eventually came up 44 runs short when being dismissed for 215, although they did extend the match much longer than looked likely when crumbling to 24-5 in their reply.

Some fine contributions from the lower order – including a top-scoring 65 from skipper Phillips, a classy unbeaten 50 from Spencer Saberton and a rapid-fire 30 from last man Lewis Welcher – provided plenty of entertainment, but they were still some way short of the visitors’ offering of 259.

The two teams meet again this Saturday in the reverse fixture and Phillips will go into battle in a positive frame of mind as his men attempt to avoid relegation after being promoted as Division Two champions last summer.

Phillips said: “The gulf between the two divisions is very big, but we’ve not been disgraced in any game.

“Our batting has let us down at times and we could do with a few more runs. We certainly can’t afford to find ourselves 24-5 like we were last Saturday and we did ever so well to get past 200 in the circumstances.

“It looks like it might be two from the current bottom three of St Ives, Histon and ourselves who go down.

“I’d back us to stay up and it would be a big achievement to do it with such a young side.”

There was no joy for March 2nds or 3rds either last Saturday. A depleted 2nds went down to Longstanton by eight wickets in Division Two of the Cambs Senior League, while the 3rds were overwhelmed by 218 runs against Newmarket in Cambs Junior League Division Three North.

But a first-ever century from James Mortlock helped the 4ths to success in Division Five North as they saw off Cambourne by four wickets.

His unbeaten 102 included 18 boundaries as the March side eased past a posting of 225-8.

March suffered a rare Sunday defeat when Castor & Ailsworth triumphed by 90 runs at The Avenue in a Rutland League Division two fixture. Overseas ace Clinton Bricker was responsible for almost half of their total of 133 when hitting 66, but it was nowhere near enough to threaten the visitors’ 223-6.

* March host the Cambridgeshire team as they face Northumberland in a three-day Minor Counties Championship clash, which gets underway on Sunday, 11am.

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