RAMSEY have retained their lead in the Standard Bank Premiership, but Valkyres are closing in and now Cronkbourne are mounting a challenge.
In the top game on Sunday, Wicus Wessels hit 60 to put Castletown in a good position against the northern club.
Town finished on 169 which would have been much more if Brian Arnold had not been on top form. Coming on third change, he took 5-35 to keep his side in the game. Scott Weaver also put the brakes on the Town batsmen with his eight overs costing just 10 runs.
In reply Ramsey batted well against a lively attack. Opener Marc Pons-Burt cracked 49 before being bowled by Garreth Roome. Rob Webber was a calming influence and, aided by Ashley Webster, steered the team to victory with three overs left. Webber made 39 not out and Webster was undefeated on 25. Mark Williams was the pick of the bowlers with 3-23.
Valkyres had a rough start when they played St John’s at Tromode. Nick Hawke and Akkie Van Den Berg removed both openers very cheaply. The Saints’ hopes were then thwarted by an excellent stand between Tom Reader and Will Warwick. When Reader went for 23, his role was taken by Jaz Singh. Valkyres ended on 164 for 6 with Warwick out for 55 and Singh dismissed for 33.
Warwick then opened the Tromode bowling and was soon amongst the wickets. He trapped run-machine Daniel Dickinson for only two and skipper Zubair Siddiqi had the other opener caught by Ali Ansari. Neil Jacobs and Van Den Berg steadied the side, but it was Alex Williamson who became the main threat.
He cracked a storming 34 to give his side hope, but Valkyres proved too strong and the westerners fell 30 runs short of their target.
Crosby and Cronkbourne battled out a close game at Marown. The home team scored 159, mainly thanks to Kevin Kniveton hitting 75 before falling to Sam Black. Alex Stokoe was amongst the wickets again, taking 3-18 off seven overs. There were also two wickets each for Phil Richardson, Will Wood and Ryan Burns.
Max Stokoe opened for Cronkbourne with a lively 41, but Ross Berry and Dave Picken were soon taking wickets. Carl Wagstaffe came to the rescue with a hard hit 61 before falling to Picken. Chris Hermann caused major problems by taking three wickets as the overs began to run out. However, Wood remained cool and his 19 not out saw Cronkbourne to victory with just one over left.
They are now just two points behind leaders Ramsey and the teams clash at Tromode on Saturday. This is going to be a crucial fixture for both clubs.
Standard Bank Premiership
Valkyres 164 for 6 (Will Warwick 55, Jaz Singh 33: Akkie Van Den Berg 2-23, Greg Hawke 2-36); St John’s 134 (Alex Williamson 34, Akkie Van Den Berg 19: Tom Reader 2-14, Paul Fleming 2-23). Valkyres won by 31 runs.
Crosby 159 (Kevin Kniveton 70, Harry Rothwell 19: Alex Stokoe 3-18, Ryan Burns 2-23); Cronkbourne 160 for 6 (Carl Wagstaffe 61, Max Stokoe 41: Chris Hermann 3-48, Dave Picken 2-29). Cronkbourne won by four wickets.
Castletown 169 (Wicus Wessels 60, John Short 24: Brian Arnold 5-35, Ken Harding 2-1); Ramsey 170 for 5 (Marc Pons-Burt 49, Rob Webber 39no: Mark Williams 3-23, Garreth Roome 1-27). Ramsey won by five wickets.
Standard Bank Forrester Division One
Cronkbourne A 100 (Alex Stokoe 19, Phil Haswell 12: Keith Brew 3-14, Hameed Sulthan 3-27); Valkyres A 101 for 2 (Aurangzeb Ghausi 27, Will Warwick 21no: Phil Richardson 1-15, Sam Black 1-16). Valkyres won by eight wickets.
Standard Bank Forrester Division Two
Valkyres B 88 (Amir Mirza 17no, Keith Brew 10: D. Howard 2-12, Shaun Kelly 2-15); Ramsey B 83 (D. Arnold 15, Shaun Kelly 12: Abdul Khan 3-12, Keith Brew 3-15). Valkyres won by five runs.
CRICKET FIXTURES DIARY
Thursday, May 24
Standard Bank Forrester Division One (6.30pm)
Celton Manx Castletown A v
Habib Bank Valkyres A
Cronkbourne A v Ramsey A
Standard Bank Forrester Division Three (6.30pm)
Grasshoppers v Colas Finch Hill B
White House Peel C v Celton Manx Castletown C
Friday, May 25
Isle of Man Bank Under-11 League (6.30pm)
Cronkbourne v South
East v North
Saturday, May 26
Standard Bank Premiership (1pm)
Fairbairn Crosby v Black Grace Cowley St John’s
Cronkbourne v Ramsey
Sunday, May 27
Standard Bank Tinker Cup (1pm)
White House Peel v Black Grace Cowley St John’s
Ramsey v Celton Manx Castletown
Habib Bank Valkyres v Fairbairn Crosby
Isle of Man Bank Under-13 League (10am)
South A v East
North v West
Cronkbourne A v Cronkbourne B