Ickwell have been knocked off the top of Beds County League Division Two after being on the receiving end of a gigantic batting partnership on The Green on Sunday.
Preston chose to bat first and there was no doubting it was the right decision as openers Justin and Adam Powick piled on 307 for the first wicket. Ben Faulkner finally took a wicket for Ickwell, Adam Powick being caught by Joel Hirst for 103.
Justin Powick powered on, finally out for 195, one of Joel Hirst’s two wickets as the visitors made 339-3.
Facing such a large total none of the Ickwell batsmen could make a big enough score to make inroads. Harry Young top scored with 37 but the innings closed on 170 all out, a 169 run defeat.
In the Premier Division Southill Park kept up the pressure at the top with a one wicket success at home to Lutonian thanks to an excellent last wicket stand.
Southill put their visitors into bat and bowled them out for 138, Jack Good removing three of the top order while George Darlow returned excellent figures of 2-4 off nine overs.
But Lutonian were not about to roll over and had Park pinned back to 4-2 and then 18-4. Rani Thiarra’s unbeaten 55 off 98 balls got Park back on track but at 113-9 the cause looked lost.
However, Kieran Brasier then chipped in with nine as the final partnership saw Southill home.
Biggleswade lost their top of Division One clash to Ampthill last Sunday. Ampthill decided to bat but were reduced to 18-2 as Twigg bowled the dangerous Biviano and Szwajbak induced a false shot from Archer which was caught by George Boyd (one of three catches on the day for him).
Riches played some decent shots before being bowled by Dagless, then Everitt was trapped lbw by Boyd.
Degnan and Slawinski then set about the bowling. Slawinski saw his lofted drive hit the end of an outstretched hand from Tom Boyd which resulted in damage to a finger and the player leaving the field. The pair added 149 before Degnan turned Boyd to Twigg.
Slawinski passed his 100 and was immediately out caught off the bowling of Dagless. The wickets slowed the progress and Biggleswade picked up the next three wickets cheaply before the innings ended on 300-9.
To have any chance of winning Biggleswade needed a quick start but after reaching 50 lost skipper Smith. Three quick wickets followed as Slawinski followed up his innings by bowling two and catching the other.
He then caught Randall for 49 before Szwajbak and Wright added a quick 65. Szwajbak passed 50 before van der Merwe ran through the remaining wickets as Wade were all out for 218.
The loss sees Biggleswade fall to third behind Potton. They have this weekend off before resuming against Ickleford.
Potton edged above Biggleswade courtesy of a close run victory over Cople. Kelvin MacFarlane was in tremendous form with the bat before being run out on 98, helping Potton to reach 222.
Cople started brightly but four wickets from James Howlett eventually saw them bowled out for 193, 29 runs short.
Biggleswade IIs were overpowered by Queen’s Park Westfield in Division Four. Batting first Biggleswade were shot out for 73 with only Nick Birch and Tariq Ahmad reaching double figures.
In reply Queen’s Park raced to their target in less than 10 overs with Yousaf making 54 not out. The only positive news for Biggleswade was the return of both Michael Johnson and Ewan Smailes for their first matches of the season, Smailes marking his return with two wickets.
In Division Five Ickwell II crept over the line with a one wicket win at Aspley Guise.
The hosts opted to bat first but 4-25 from Alexander Ingham and 3-11 from Maulik Shah saw them restricted to 116-9. Ickwell’s chase stumbled but Darren Williams(25) and Thomas Jackson (36) contributed enough runs to see Ickwell home in the 38th over.