Marvel Ma­lik can’t stop the Cove slide

Cove ......................... 126 Horspath .............. 129-2

Aldershot News & Mail - - ROUND-UP -

OUT-OF-FORM Cove were dragged per­ilously close to the rel­e­ga­tion zone af­ter suf­fer­ing a heavy home de­feat to high-fly­ing new­com­ers Horspath on Satur­day.

Opt­ing to bat first, Andy Short's men were star­ing down the bar­rel early on as they were re­duced to 19-5 be­fore a solid half-cen­tury from over­seas star Na­jeeb Bashir Ma­lik at least of­fered some re­spectabil­ity.

Sadly, though, his 54 and Cove's 126 was never likely to be enough as Horspath cruised to a com­fort­able eight-wicket vic­tory with plenty of overs to spare.

Horspath pace­man Pa­trick Fos­ter was the ex­e­cu­tionerin-chief, tak­ing a quite bril­liant 7-38 as Cove floun­dered to 19-5 and then 67-8 with only Ma­lik mak­ing in­roads.

Even­tu­ally he found some as­sis­tant in the shape of tailen­ders Craig Tay­lor (11) and young Tom Redhead (17no) but Andy Short’s men quite there for the tak­ing.

Ma­lik claimed an early suc­cess to of­fer Cove hope but led by Joseph Todd (49) and James Phillips (54no), the Ox­ford­shire side were al­most in con­trol and it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore the home side were lick­ing their wounds of another de­feat which leaves them just one place and six points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Next up for Cove is the visit of a Din­ton side, who racked up their high­est ever Home Coun­ties Pre­mier League score on Satur­day – but still couldn’t com­plete a vic­tory against Fin­champ­stead.

The Ox­ford­shire side smashed 339-5 from 58 overs with Matt Ren­haw top scor­ing with an un­beaten 131.

But brave Finch dug in and some­how sur­vived their full quota of 62 overs and hung on for a draw with the fi­nal pair hold­ing on at 210-9.

Finch en­ter­tain Che­sham this Satur­day.

COVE brought the Ayl­ward Cup back to the News & Mail re­gion af­ter a three-year ab­sence af­ter they beat Fin­champ­stead by 81 runs in a one-sided fi­nal at Hart­ley Wint­ney CC. Man-of-the-match Trent Keep top scored with 81 and Jor­dan Fin­ney added 65 as...

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