David Ripley: Northants coach rues over-rate points penalty after missing out on promotion

Rob Newton
Rob Newton was Northamptonshire's leading scorer in the Championship with 894 runs in 13 appearances

Northamptonshire coach David Ripley admitted they had no-one to blame but themselves after missing out on promotion in the County Championship.

Ripley's team finished third despite winning nine games in Division Two, five points adrift of Notts.

But they were docked five points in their game at Trent Bridge in August for a slow over-rate.

And if the two teams had ended level on points, Northants would have gone up by virtue of winning more matches.

"It's disappointing when it comes back to the five points we lost in Nottingham, but we deserved to lose them, we were off the pace a bit," Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton.

"It was quite a unique set of circumstances, (captain) Alex Wakley was off with an injury, we had someone whacking us all over the park batting with the tailenders, the field was in, it was out.

"It's just a shame that poor bit of play has blemished what has been a fantastic season from the lads,"

Northants won their last four Championship games in a row, the last a six-wicket victory over Leicestershire, despite leading wicket-taker Rory Kleinveldt only bowling 1.5 overs after suffering an injury.

But they only mustered 29 batting bonus points during the season, 15 fewer than Notts, another factor which ultimately proved costly.

"It's been a bugbear for myself and the dressing room, who's going to be the one that bangs out 1,000 runs," said Ripley.

"Ben (Duckett) got that monkey off our back last season with the way he played, but historically over the last six or seven years we find it hard for guys to get to 1,000.

"We've got some good players, they've all contributed at times, but that's the area where we're trying to get a bit more out of ourselves, to turn starts into fifties, fifties into hundreds, and then big hundreds to help us win matches."