CRICKET: Success over St Ives hands March Town a survival lifeline

PUBLISHED: 10:12 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:12 22 August 2017

March Town celebrate taking a wicket in their vital 103 run victory over St Ives last Saturday. Photo: PAT RINGHAM

March Town celebrate taking a wicket in their vital 103 run victory over St Ives last Saturday. Photo: PAT RINGHAM

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Back-to-back wins for the first time this season has thrown March Town a survival lifeline in the Whiting & Partners Division One.

Brandon Phillips on his way to 34. Photo: PAT RINGHAMBrandon Phillips on his way to 34. Photo: PAT RINGHAM

The local lads stormed to a 103-run success over basement boys St Ives at the Avenue last Saturday, meaning they are now just 15 points from hoisting themselves out of the drop zone with six games to go.

Consistent runs all the way down the order gave them a healthy 230 run total before tea, with skipper Tyler Phillips leading the way with a knock of 40. He was supported by his brother Brandon (34), Aussie Clinton Bricker (33) and four further contributions.

However, the smile went from the skipper’s face when a routine slip catch was dropped off his bowling early on proved to be costly, as the visitors romped to 99-2 off 22 overs.

March captain Tyler Phillips in action in their 103 run victory over St Ives. Photo: PAT RINGHAMMarch captain Tyler Phillips in action in their 103 run victory over St Ives. Photo: PAT RINGHAM

Sam Clarke made the vital breakthrough on his way to figures of 3-20 and with Andy Wright and Tommy Howgego each picking up a brace, 10-man St Ives were bowled out for 127.

And while March’s Saturday side are struggling to maintain their league status, their Sunday side are loving life in the Rutland League Division Two.

The firsts are looking a good bet for promotion after putting title rivals Kings Keys into a spin at The Avenue.

March Town's wicketkeeper, Lewish Welcher, celebrates. Photo: PAT RINGHAMMarch Town's wicketkeeper, Lewish Welcher, celebrates. Photo: PAT RINGHAM

With just two games remaining, March have a 19 point advantage over Kings Keys, who have a game in hand. The visitors couldn’t handle the slow bowlers in the top clash as Steve Coe (5-34) and Geoff Kirby (3-49) weaved their magic in a vital 61 run victory - eight catches being taken during the innings.

The visitors slumped from 134-2 to 182 all out, in reply to the March total of 243-6. Vice-captain Brandon Phillips was again on fire as he struck 82 runs off 53 balls - an innings that included 12 boundaries, three of which sailed over the ropes. Ben Chapman remained unbeaten on 55 and Curtis Oldroyd added a further 46 runs to an already impressive season.

March Town’s second side, however, continue to struggle in the lower reaches of CCA Senior League Division Two following a narrow seven run defeat away to close rivals Hardwick last weekend.

March allowed the home side to score 50 runs more than they should have in the 203-9 total. Richard Green took 3-32 and James Harradine 2-39.

An excellent second wicket stand of 113 between Harradine (43) and Curtis Oldroyd (53) put them in a strong position after 24 overs.

However, four run outs saw them bowled out for 196, having needed 12 runs off the last over. Skipper Matty Vail returned to form with an unbeaten 46.

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