HARRY EVERETT REPORTS ON A THRILLING CLIMAX TO THE G WEST PROMOTION RACE
STOKE Gabriel 2nd XI clinched promotion out of G Division West by one wicket by beating third placed Plymouth Civil Service & Roborough in thrilling season finale...it could not get much closer. (If the 10 points for the win in this match were reversed then the second and third placed teams would trade final positions.)
The Yealmpton Sports Ground saw a very heavy dew, when the toss happened it was still pretty damp, hence Gabriel putting PCS&RCC into bat, very unsurprisingly.
Usman Tariq and Adrian Vickery, plus an unusual amount of extras saw them put on 69 for the first wicket when Vickery was run out pushing for two.
Taqriq falling soon after lbw for a very hard worked 38. Score 81. Nuruz in to join the battle, playing with a sensible head. Matt Ball then falling bowled for Dave Stubbs' second wicket.
Jim Attwood and Liam Mair both taking three-fers.
No one below six made double figures, extras made 37! PCSRCC 135 all out.
Home skipper Vickery reckoned: “A little under par but not awful. The problem was the pitch was drying and outfield speeding up a bit.”
Matt Ball got the first two Gabriel wickets en-route to figures of 2-25 off eight overs.
Phil White finally getting a well-deserved wicket in his final over, caught really well out of the sun by his bowling mate Ball (1-14).
Patrick Duke made 23 at three, Stubbs 28 at six, and captain Kai Horsburgh 21, but all fell to set up the thrilling finale.
Mark Hopkins, reportedly slightly angry over his dismissal, started to make inroads into the Stoke line up. Bowled, bowled, lbw, three wickets fairly quickly. Runs were still flowing though.
Twenty-one needed off 24 balls with the away side seven down. The game was in the balance.
Vickery: “I did say to Jarod at this point I would sell my gran for a wicket maiden. Hoppy did exactly that. Sorry gran you are gone. Nuruz then got one too getting a snick behind.”
13 needed off two overs for Stoke to win and seal promotion, one wicket needed for PCSRCC to win.
I'll hand over to home skipper Vickery to talk through the final proceedings of the season:
“Santa Claus (Adam Latham) smashes a six!
“Hoppy to bowl the last over, 3 needed, 1 wicket for us...
- Dot ball
- Dot ball
- Dot ball
- It is down to the last ball.
“Santa gets bat on ball and sets off. Nur picks it up cleanly and throws at one stump at the bowlers end. Agonisingly close and would have been out by a mile. But Stoke win.
“What a season finale. Not our day. It's a long season so yesterday was not the key factor. I hope everyone has enjoyed this season. It did not finish the way the second team wanted, but we dust ourselves off and go again next year. Congratulations to the 1sts (won E Division West despite final day defeat to Whitchurch Wayfarers.)
“This club is amazing and we will continue to grow.”