SSMFL; Ampthill Town FC join Sports Shots

Sports Shots are delighted to announce that Ampthill Town FC are to join our list of clubs that we cover with immediate effect. The Spartan South Midlands Division One club have this summer recruited Paul Toms as their new manager for the season ahead, and the new man brought with him John Phillips as first team coach and one of their first calls was to Sports Shots to see if we’d add them to our portfolio of non-league clubs. After a brief conversation with both men and club chairman Gary Maidment it was agreed, and we welcome Ampthill Town on board, and wish them every success for the season ahead.

There have been several big changes at Ampthill Town over the past few years, the most notable being the new clubhouse that proudly stands behind the park end goal. To read the full story on the new and improved facilities from last year click here:

The club were formed back in 1881 but it wasn’t until the early 1950’s that they joined the South Midlands League where they  were relatively successful culminating in winning the league title in the 1959/60 season and finishing runners-up the following year. Just four years later the club finished bottom of the South Midlands Premier and moved over to the United Counties League where they remained for twenty-six seasons in various divisions before returning to the South Midlands in time for the 1991/92 season, where they have remained ever since.

New club facilities

In the eighteen seasons since the turn of the century, Ampthill have spent all bar four in the second tier (division one in today’s money), their most recent success being in 2011/12 where they finished runners-up to London Colney and were promoted to the premier division. Their first season saw them finish fifth, and the following year they claimed the runners-up spot to Hanwell Town, but the success was to be short lived as the following year a bottom two place finish saw ‘The Amps’ relegated back to division one, where they have finished in fourteenth position for each of the last three seasons.

FA Cup runs have eluded the club, not since 1986 have they progressed to the first qualifying round, but they have seen more recent success in the FA Vase. Having reached the third round previously in 1976/77, 1981/82, 1983/84 & 2007/08, they finally went one further in 2011/12 before going out in the fourth round and that run granted them entry into the competition much later the following year. Entering at the second-round stage, Town got as far as the fifth round before Hadleigh beat them by the odd goal in three at Ampthill Park. The following season saw the furthest the club have reached when a run to the quarter-finals eventually saw them knocked out at Eastbourne United.

After the opening of the new clubhouse last season, the club have again been busy this summer with the completion of a new barrier that runs around the perimeter of the playing area meaning the pitch is now fully enclosed. Images for the new barrier can be viewed here:

For anyone unfamiliar with the Spartan South Midlands League, Ampthill will this season be facing thirty-eight league games home & away, two separate South Midlands cup competitions, the FA Vase, and two separate Bedfordshire cup competitions. To keep up to date with Town’s progress and fixture list, use this link:;jsessionid=FC0D7153A16310DF92A9184A040B9F2D?divisionseason=288088660&teamID=352163946

Anyone looking for their football fix in Ampthill can take out an ATFC clubhouse membership, and for just £4.99 per month you receive free admission to every home game, a fully licenced bar at clubhouse prices, live TV sports nights, and the bar also has BT Sports. The perfect opportunity for the people of Ampthill to get behind their football club.

The club are looking for helpers to get involved behind the scenes if anyone has some spare time to volunteer. General committee members are required for match day duties, as well as a secretary & an assistant child welfare officer for the youth section. For any businesses looking to advertise, there are some very competitive packages available, and the clubhouse is always available for hire for parties or meetings. Anyone interested in any of the positions or hiring the club should contact Gary on 07450 018848.

Sports Shots went to meet new 1st team manager Paul Toms and spoke about his thoughts on joining the club, and his vision for the future. The whole interview can be viewed here:

Anyone tuning into Sports Shots for the first time, to follow any news on your club scroll down our page to the index of categories and click on your team as shown below (click on image):

Sports Shots would like to thank everyone for their time at Ampthill Town FC, and we look forward to working with them this forthcoming season!

FCCL; Horwood face Olney side they know little about

Great Horwood CC travel to Olney Town on Saturday in a game that will see two form teams go head to head, the hosts have won their last three matches whilst Horwood have triumphed in three of their last four.

Josh Nix

Sports Shots caught up with captain Stuart Parker ahead of the game:

We travel to Olney off the back of last weeks good win at Thurleigh, the reverse fixture was the one fixture to fall victim to rain this season, so we know very little about them.

We have lots of changes again with Glyn Davies, Dom Pritchard, Simon Ridgway & Billy Harper all unavailable. Josh Nix plays only his second game of the season with spin duo Haydon Morrison & Olly Prendergast both returning along with Ken Cronshaw & Sam Krajnyk


S Parker
A Armitage
D Armitage
K Cronshaw
S Krajnyk
C McStraw
H Morrison
J Nix
O Prendergast
R Taylor
S Willett

The match starts at 1.30pm

Parsons to lead Bucks Academy for Free Foresters opener

Bucks CCC Academy start their season when they play Free Foresters at Radley College in a three day game (Monday 16th – Wednesday 18th) starting at 11am.

Cameron Parsons

Cam Parsons will skipper the side that also will include the last two winners of the Wisden Schools Cricket of the Year. Current holder, Teddie Casterton, and 2016 season winner AJ Woodland are named in the starting eleven.

Teddie Casterton


AJ Woodland

Bucks Academy: Cam Parsons (Captain), Teddie Casterton, AJ Woodland, Dan Ogden, Mo Choudhry, Tahir Kazmi, Stephen Croft, Sulaiman Akhtar, Will Hatton (wk), Imran Malik, Yash Rastogi, Samiullah Sajid.

Unicorns Championship: In-form Payne praises table-topping Bucks

The in-form Michael Payne praised his Bucks team mates after they returned from Northumberland joint top of the Unicorns Championship, Eastern Division table.

The former skipper has flourish this campaign as he has scored two centuries and a fifty in his three Championship innings.

Michael Payne

Payne told Sports Shots:

We (Bucks CCC) had a successful trip up to Northumberland winning within the two days.

The tone was set right from the off with two personal best scores for Bucks from Masoor Khan (63) and Dan Marles (99) giving us an excellent platform to post a big first innings total. Later on in the innings some great cameo knocks from Shelvin Gumbs and Robin Pritchard that made sure the innings was finished off in style. Also a special mention for captain Tom Hampton who hit his first ball for 6! I still think he should of declared there with a strike rate of 600!

From a personal point of view it felt great to carry on the form from the Bedfordshire game at Tring Park. Posting 440 in the first innings at Northumberland and 383 in the first innings at Tring is a sign of the maturity of our batting line up.

Our bowling and fielding performance throughout the game was nothing short of professional. Tom Hampton took centre stage getting 5 wickets first innings and 8 in the game. All of the bowling group were superb picking up wickets regularly and not giving the batsmen the chance to score freely.

To bowl a team out for under 200 in a championship game was a fantastic achievement.

It’s always a tough ask to make a team follow on as the bowlers don’t get much respite, especially for the seamers but they went about their work exceptionally well setting the standard the second time round.

Our fielding in both innings backed up the bowling efforts taking the chances when they came and stopping everything.

The great thing for me about the performance was every single player contributed in some way to make it a thoroughly enjoyable win.

We’ll be looking to make it 3 wins from 3 games in our game against Lincolnshire at Chesham CC.

Latest table:

HCPCL D2: Town include Duckett & Hall for the visit of Burnham

Buckingham Town make two changes to their line-up as they name Ben Duckett and Andrew Hall in their eleven to face Burnham at Bourton Road on Saturday.

Duckett plays his third game in Town’s colours having been in good touch for Northants in the Vitality Blast. The batsman has an average of 64.67 at the time of writing.

Ben Duckett

All-rounder Hall has missed the past few games through injury but returns having been in form with the ball before his enforced break.

Andrew Hall

Rob Large takes over the captaincy from the unavailable Jack Parish, while Leigh Tomlinson with take the gloves with Jonny Cater also missing the game.

Rob Large

Town are currently 31 points clear at the top.

Town: Rob Large (Captain), Ben Duckett, Steve Brunning, Leigh Tomlinson, Andrew Hall, Ash Pearson, Jack Deal, Ben Stafford, Russell White, Gurwinder Singh, George Humphries.

CL D6: Town III skipper looking for his side to bounce back

Buckingham Town III skipper Brij Valambhia has spoken to Sports Shots as his side head to play at Horley II in the Cherwell League, Division 6 on Saturday.

Brijesh Valambhia

The Town III captain said:

After a disappointing result last week where we lost a game we shouldn’t have. Still a few positives to take from it, Andy Humphries returned to his bowling form taking 6-18 off his spell and Matt Dipple grabbed 3 wickets at the top of the order.

We go again this weekend and hope for a better result.

Town III: Brij Valambhia (Captain), Mike Taylor, Joe Clark, Vish Valambhia, Anant Peshawaria, Richard Pengelly, Matt Dipple, Frank Johnson, Ryan Freshwater, Luke Tory, Tom Buggey.

Division 6 table

1 Bledlow Ridge 1 10 8 1 0 0 1 13 0 225 Up
2 Challow and Childrey 2 10 8 0 2 0 0 18 0 218 Down
3 Twyford 2 10 6 0 4 0 0 27 0 177 No Change
4 Sandford St Martin 2 10 4 0 5 0 1 45 0 151 No Change
5 Buckingham Town 3 10 4 0 5 0 1 38 0 144 No Change
6 Oxford 3 10 4 1 4 0 1 46 17 141 Up
7 Banbury 4 10 3 0 7 0 0 50 0 125 Up
8 Minster Lovell 2 10 3 2 4 0 1 48 5 124 Down
9 Eynsham 1 10 2 1 7 0 0 70 5 121 Down
10 Horley 2 10 2 1 6 0 1 60 0 116 No Change

Hellenic League News: New rules & balls come in for 2018/19

Three pieces of news to come from the Hellenic League in the past few days.

The Hellenic Football League have announced their division two & veterans league were in support of introducing the FA trial for ‘sin bins’ for the 2018/19 season. Taken from the Hellenic league website:

As advised at the Uhlsport Hellenic League Seminar/AGM yesterday the Football Association is extending trial of ‘sin bins’ in the lower leagues of English football next season with a full implementation from season 2019-2020.

The FA plans to introduce what it calls “temporary dismissals” in England’s step seven and the leagues below. They will only apply to yellow cards shown for dissent, and will see players leave the field for 10 minutes. Clubs are normally charged a £10 administration charge for each yellow card but the CFA’s will not be issuing this administration fee for those that participate and will be recompensed financially by the FA.

Representatives of Uhlsport Hellenic League clubs at yesterday’s AGM, took a ‘straw poll’ on introducing this as a trial for the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division Two and Veterans League this season – 2018-2019. The project was warmly received and the vote on the 18/19 introduction was supported by the majority of Division TWO clubs

In other Hellenic news our friends over at Football in Bracknell this week revealed the new match ball to be used for the forthcoming season:

And finally, with the recent sad news that Oxford City Nomads have folded, the Hellenic League have confirmed to Sports Shots that as a result, the Premier Division would run for this season with nineteen teams and would not be adding another team.

SNCL D3 & 4 KO Cup: Gawcott & Hillesden reach third successive final

Gawcott & Hillesden have reached the final of the South Northants Cricket League, Division 3 & 4 Knockout Cup for the third successive season.

Gawcott & Hillesden CC 2018

Alex Piggott’s side will face Chipping Warden on Sunday 22nd July at their own ground, the Richard Roper Field, after it was allocated two of the South Northants Cricket League finals.

Alex Piggott


In the quarter-final, Gawcott continued their decent form with a seven-wicket victory over Silverstone, with an excellent all-round performance from Colin Piggott.

Colin Piggott

Silverstone posted 95 all out with Colin Piggott’s three for 5 and Luke Stafford’s four for 24 doing the damage.

Luke Stafford

Gawcott reached there target off 16 overs as Piggott’s unbeaten 36 with the bat took them to victory with Matt Folkes (24) playing a much-needed supporting role.

Matt Folkes

Bowling figures
Jonny Dale 5 overs 1-27
Luke Stafford 5 overs 4-24
James carlin 5 overs 2-35
Colin Piggott 5 overs 3-5

Batting figures
Alex Piggott 12
John Patterson 0
Colin Piggott 36 not out
Matt Folkes 24
John Richardson 5 not out


In the semi-final, Gawcott & Hillesden headed to Wardington with the aim of reaching another final.

A late withdrawal due to work meant Gawcott & Hillesden travelled with ten players.

The visitors lost the toss and were invited to bat first.

Skipper Piggott (22) and opening partner John Richardson raced to put 53 runs on the board from the first seven overs.

John Richardson

Colin Piggott came to the crease to join Richardson and they scored freely as they built a 111-run partnership in just 13 overs. Both players finished unbeaten on 59 as Gawcott & Hillesden posted a very competitive 165 for 1 from their 20 overs.

The game was in the balance as the deteriorating light for batsmen played against a side fielding with ten men.

Gawcott & Hillesden stepped up and performed as they bowled and fielded well as they restricted Wardington to 139-7 at the end of their 20 overs.

Batting scores
Alex Piggott 22
John Richardson 59 not out
Colin Piggott 59 not out

Bowling figures
Colin Piggott 5 overs 2-24
Kyle Bennion 2.2 overs 0-16
James carlin 5 overs 2-37
Jonny Dale 5 overs 1-36
Luke Stafford 2 overs 0-22
Matt Folkes 0.4 overs 1-2

EPP U16: Town’s Clark strokes 74-ball century as Bucks U16 secure 127 run win!

Buckingham Town’s Joe Clark stroked a century as Bucks U16 defeated their Northants counterparts by 130 runs in the EPP U16 competition last week.

Joe Clark

The promising youngster from Bourton Road made 104 not out from 74 balls as he carried Bucks U16s to 187 all out at West Haddon & Guilsborough CC.

In reply, Northants U16s were dismissed for 60 all out.


CCLD1; Town downed by Oxford

Buckingham Town II’s – 152 all out off 41.5 overs (4 points)

Oxford Downs – 154-2 off 26.5 overs (25 points)

Buckingham Town II’s got off to the perfect start when Alex O’Dell & Alistair Martin opened the match with an unbeaten 101, but once the partnership was broken Oxford seized the initiative all bar brief resistance from Sam Younghusband who hit 28. After his dismissal the final five Buckingham wickets fell for just 9 runs, & Oxford in return saw openers Adam Beck & Alex Ling make 67 before a wicket fell, but Downs showed why they are top of the table on a long unbeaten run by powering home to win the game before the England v Sweden World Cup quarter-final kicked off.

Town lost the toss and were put into bat by their guests where the openers put on a great opening partnership, O’Dell reached his half century in the twenty-second over and went on to make 56 off just 77 balls before being caught with the score on 101, Martin was then run out just two runs later after making 34. Mike Taylor and Sam Younghusband put on a further 13 before the former was caught, Callum Cater made 9 before being bowled & Younghusband made 28 off 36 balls but once he was caught the score suddenly read 143-5.

Alex O’Dell reaches 50

Tom Buggey was then run out and skipper Steve Beck was bowled on his first ball without Town adding any further runs, Ryan Freshwater added a single before being caught, James Gear faced three balls before being caught, the final partnership of Jason Ell & Wasim Fayyaz saw Ell make 8 before his wicket fell, and from 101-1 then 143-5 Town ended 152 all out. Oxford had been patient waiting for the first wicket to fall but once it came they dominated their hosts to claim the remaining nine wickets for just fifty one runs, George Sandbach the best of the Oxford bowlers taking 4 wickets for just 22 runs off 5.5 overs, Jonathan Meardon taking 3-31 off 10 overs.

Beck & Ling made quick work of making their 50 partnership before Ling fell to Fayyaz with the score on 67, Beck went on to make 71 off just 66 balls before being bowled by Younghusband, his partnership with George Sandbach made 73. With minutes left before the football started, Oxford knocked off the remaining 13 they needed to win with ease, Younghusband taking 1-11 off one over, Fayyaz with the other wicket for 42 runs off 8 overs.

Match scorecard:

League table:

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