Ton-up Clarke leads his side to vic­tory but ti­tle hopes fade

Cricket - Northants League Premier Di­vi­sion

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Bob French

There were mixed emo­tions for Peter­bor­ough Town skip­per David Clarke on Satur­day. He­wase­latedafter­mak­inghis best Northants League Premier Di­vi­sion score of 129 not out in a win over Northamp­tonSaints­bu­tatthe­same­time sad­dened­toseethat­table-top­pingOldNorthampt­ni­an­shad won again.

The ONs vic­tory at Rush­den means they re­main 44 points clear of Town­with­four gamesto­goandthey’re rac­ing cer­tain­ties to take the ti­tle.

Town, who were bid­ding for their fourth ti­tle in five years this sea­son, are in third place, eight points be­hind Finedon.

Clarke said: “I don’t think we­can­catchONs­now. It’s atall or­der. It’s their league to lose. Butwewil­l­fight­totheen­dand try andfin­ish­sec­ond. Finedon are in our sights.”

And cer­tainly on the ev­i­dence of the form they’ve shown­intheir­last twogames, Town are well ca­pa­ble of tak­ing runners-upspot, es­pe­cially as they still have Finedon to play.

Against Saints on Satur­day, Clarke led from the front with the sec­ond high­est score of his­ca­reer- his­bestis140­for Cambs in 2010.

His 129 not out cou­pled with 77 not out from Kieran Judd and 59 from Alex Mitch- ell en­abled Town to de­clare at 289-2 af­ter 48 overs.

In re­ply Saints strug­gled at the start and were 40-3. But an almighty wallop from Dan Har­ris - 141 off 96 balls - put them back in con­tention.

Once he went though, clean bowled by Joe Daw- born, it was ef­fec­tively game over and their in­nings ended 37 runs short at 252. Daw­born fin­ished with 6-53.

“There were a few hairy mo­ments,” ad­mit­ted Clarke. “Dan Har­ris caught us off guard and gave us a scare. But intheen­dit­wasjob­well­done.”

This Satur­day, Town are at home­toRush­to­nan­dre­venge is on Clarke’s mind.

He said: “They are a pretty strong side and beat us in the 20/20 so we need to avenge that one.

“We’re l i kely to be un­changed.”

David Clarke made the sec­ond high­est score of his ca­reer - 129 not out - against Northamp­ton Saints.

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