Everards County League: Barkby United Seconds close on top four

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Barkby United Second XI closed in on the teams above them in Division Five East after a four-wicket win over Market Harborough Seconds on Saturday.

Skipper Adam Cookson lost the toss and Barkby fielded first at Beeby Road, but James Kirk soon had the first wicket, as the opener edged behind to wicket-keeper Lloyd Phillips.

Cookson then enticed a drive to remove the remaining opener who spooned the ball straight to the newly-positioned Jack Wilkinson at extra cover. Harborough gifted another catch, this time straight to Conor Percy to leave the visitors three down.

Ryan Waplington (3 for 24) wiped out the Harborough middle order with a fearsome seven-over spell, cleaning up numbers five and six with the moving ball, and having the number seven caught again by Percy.

Spin twins Dave Botting (1 for 27) and Eamonn Bourke (1 for 23) applied pressure, the latter bamboozling the batsmen with turn and bounce to remove the Harborough captain for 48.

Botting deservedly picked up a wicket in his final over as Phillips took his fourth catch before opening bowler Cookson (3 for 32) returned to take a final wicket, with a catch from Waplington as Harborough posted 154-9 from their 45 overs.

After Jack Wilkinson was dismissed for eight, Bourke and Percy (23) found the boundary with ease, the latter hitting a monstrous six down the ground before patting back the exact same ball straight to the bowler.

Bourke (28) looked in control until a loose shot found its way into the hands of the fielder at point, but Waplington (26) also found form with the bat, hitting some fine cover drives until he gave his wicket away cheaply.

Jack Wood steadied the ship as Matt Harby took the attack to the spinners, but like previous batsmen gave his wicket away for 21.

Wood (19 not out) and Phillips (4 not out) saw Barkby over the line at Barkby 157-6.

The 25-point haul keeps Barkby in fifth ahead of Saturday’s trip to University of Leicester Staff.