A SPLENDID bowling display ensured Division Three's Northwood Town romped to victory by 48 runs over a depleted and out-of-sorts Langleybury second XI on Saturday, June 15.

In damp conditions, Town were asked to bat first on an early, tricky wicket by Bury acting skipper Sean Palmer.

Palmer, standing in for Cliff Spinks who was promoted to the first team, failed to set an early example as he dropped a catch off only the seventh ball.

However, the catch was not to prove too costly as Bury and Glen Phillips snapped up two early wickets, but Raj Ahluwalia held firm with a solid 25.

Some rash shots from Town saw wickets fall steadily, and it needed a battling partnership between Phil Carter (29) and Aidan Pimm (17) to steady the innings.

The pair grinded out what would prove to be a valuable 36 in an hour and lifted Town to a final total of 146.

Bury's Mick How rolled back the years with a excellent five-wicket haul, but the damage had already been done.

In reply, Langleybury were restricted by some excellent tight bowling and only Bob Longman made an contribution with a gritty 48. Dave Bushnell and Morne Hoffman picked up two wickets each as the batsmen struggled to make an impression.

Richard Doling once again proved the thorn in the opposition's side as he produced yet another five-wicket display.

However, it was Doling who once again took the plaudits.

Bowling throughout, Doling took 5-45 as the visitors had no answer as they were dismissed for 98.

Town skipper Carter was happy with the performance, explaining: "While 146 wasn't a great total, we knew it could be competitive if our bowlers were on form. Once again they performed superbly and Richard deserved his five wickets for a classy display."

Bushey crashed to their third defeat in a row on Saturday when they were soundly beaten by Letchworth second XI.

Bushey, asked to bat first, were soon in trouble, and only managed a meagre 136 all out with 15 overs to spare.

Only Mehmood, with 41, stood firm against the Letchworth bowlers, with a mixture of aggressive stroke play and sound defence.

As in the previous weeks, the middle order did not perform, which is starting to have some cause for alarm if Bushey are to play their way out of trouble at the bottom half of the table.

Letchworth, needing 137 ofg 61 overs, made a good start, despite the best efforts of the Bushey bowlers who claimed six wickets.

However, the total proved well within Letchworth's reach, and they cruised home with ten overs to spare.

June 21, 2002 11:30