Title chasers too hot for Bates as their good run is ended

BATES Cottages welcomed title chasers Blue Flames to the Welfare on Saturday, hoping to continue their recent good form and competitive results against the top sides of late.

Batting first, Walton and Sample were solid, racing to a 50 partnership.

Thangavelu broke it, removing the dangerous Walton, and a top order collapse then followed, with Sample and Symington falling to leave Bates struggling on 60-3.

Skipper Baston attempted to be positive and blast the team forward, hitting a huge six, but once he and Doyle fell, Bates struggled.

Robinson and Telford moved Bates from 116-7 up to 169, before Telford fell to Ansari.

Once Robinson was also out, if was left to the last pairing of Dennis and Cragg, who got Bates up to a respectable 196-9 off the allotted 50 overs.

Bates knew that only an outstanding bowling performance would restrict the powerful Blue Flames top order, and Telford gave the perfect response, removing McKeever with only three on the board.

But from here on in Bates were unable to sustain any prolonged pressure, with three consecutive 50 partnerships for the Flames moving them comfortably towards the victory total. Blue Flames eventually reaching the total in quick time with only 30 overs gone.

A spirited performance from the Bates Bears, who sit just outside the relegation zone, and with fellow strugglers Bomarsund and Clara Vale both to play inside the last four matches, win these, and Bates can retain their Premier League status – hopefully starting with the trip to local rivals Bomarsund on Saturday.