PROMPTED by a decisive spell from Matty Bebbington that exploited their opponents’ fragile batting line-up, Barnton eased to a six-wicket win against Oakmere on Thursday.

Their safe passage to a victory target of 69 at Broomsedge wasn’t entirely smooth, but they made it there with plenty to spare and with hopes heightened they can progress to the next stage.

The visitors, in need of a boost after a difficult start to life at a higher level in the Cheshire League that has brought with it four defeats in five matches, started their innings promisingly after being put in.

David Norton (25 off 19 balls) and Ciaran McDonnell (11) had added 37 runs for the second wicket, and quickly too, before a fine one-handed catch by Brijesh Batra off Neil Langham’s bowling accounted for the former.

He had found the boundary four times, three of those in a costly over for Barnton skipper James Hodgkinson, and plundered a sixduring a brief cameo.

Put simply, Oakmere never recovered.

Bebbington (4-19) took control and only youngster James Hodkinson (8), who was last man out, occupied the crease for longer than a few minutes as they collapsed to 68 all out in the 16th over.

Langham (2-17), Paul Coot (1-7) and Cory Devanny (1-8) all contributed.

Oakmere were defiant in the field and Joe Roddis, with the help of David Norton’s catch, trapped Coot from the second ball of Barnton’s reply.

Kaps Singh (21) and Batra (18) accelerated then the scoring after a laboured start before Matt Norton, on his return to first-team duty, disrupted their partnership.

He bowled Nathan Lang in the same over before Batra was run out – three wickets falling with a single run being scored – to leave Barnton 44-4.

Norton finished with 2-21, including a maiden, to remind his side what they have been missing.

However in-form Australian Brayden Tracey (18no), fresh from a maiden century for the club against Weaverham on Saturday, got them quickly back on course.

It was fitting that he should strike the winning runs, steering the ball for four on the leg-side, to cap a fine week’s work.

Man of the Match 

Matty Bebbington (Barnton

While Neil Langham can claim to have snaffled the prize wicket of David Norton, given the opener’s encouraging start, the introduction of his teammate shifted momentum fully in the hosts’ direction. 

Bebbington bowled youngster Ciaran McDonnell and South African Matthew De Villiers in the same over to leave Oakmere 44-4 after they had been 39-1. 

He returned to dismiss Daniel Faulkner and Joe Roddis with successive balls and, despite a hat-trick eluding him, he finished with impressive figures of 4-19. 

Champagne moment 

Brijesh Batra (Barnton

He made the execution of a catch to dismiss David Norton, reaching upwards and claiming the ball one-handed, look much easier than it was. 

However his feat was made more impressive by the fact that his misfield earlier in the same over had gifted four runs to the Oakmere batsman. 

His concentration, and refusal to let that mistake bother him, made Batra’s intervention to send the visitors’ highest-scorer on his way a significant one. 

What happens next? 

Barnton will travel to Kingsley in a fortnight for a ‘winner takes all’ encounter at the Croft that will decide who progresses to the knockout stage. 

Both teams have maximum points after two matches following victories against Oakmere and Weaverham – their rivals in Group Four. 


UKFast Cheshire League 


Thursday, May 30 

Group Four: Barnton 72-4 Oakmere 68; Weaverham 158-6 Kingsley 183-6 

Group Five: Lymm 77-3 Winnington Park 76 


Thursday, June 13 (from 6.15pm) 

Group Four: Kingsley v Barnton; Oakmere v Weaverham 

Group Five: Lymm v Appleton; Winnington Park v Glazebury