The 1sts showed great determination in batting out for a losing draw against title chasing Plumtree at The Strand. After winning the toss and putting Plumtree in to bat the first wicket arrived with Ben Bhabra's first ball with the score on 48. The next wicket didn't come until 188 runs later as the Storey brothers plundered the bowling with boundaries aplently and excellent running between the wickets. A late flurry of wickets including one from the last ball of the innings meant that 3 bowling points were taken as Plumtree recorded 324 for 7 from their 50 overs. Against such a massive score, and after losing a wicket in the first over, a losing draw was probably the best outcome we could hope for. The resolve of the team to not give away their wicket cheaply, typified by Ben Bhabra's solitary run from 29 balls, was great to see and bodes well for the fight against relegation over the next few weeks as such determination and fighting spirit will hopefully bring some much needed wins. The innings closed at 168 for 8 with 39 for Buffy Landa and 47* for Thom Murray in a welcome return to form.
The 2nds closed the gap slightly on leaders Plumtree with an 18 point winning draw against Kirkby Portland and came within a single wicket of claiming the full 20. Batting first, Chris Allcoat was in good form again with 78 supported by Martin Shoemaker 41 and Martin Rayner 30 in posting 233 for 9. Kirkby Portland's response struggled to 155 for 9 with Chris Allcoat showing his quality as an all-rounder with 4 for 21 - but that final wicket proved too elusive.
The 2nds sit second in Division C but with games against all of the other sides in the top 5 to come over the next 4 weeks, wins will guarantee promotion as champions.
The unbeaten 3rds maintained their record with another close win, this time
|Pete Bateman & Gordon Airey - 125 stand for 2nd wicket|
Barring any points deductions the 3s are now assured of at least second place and a promotion spot but will be going all out to finish as champions and remain unbeaten for the whole of the 2015 season.
There was an equally impressive run chase on Long Lane where Collingham set a tricky target of 230 to win. The 4s hero this week was Josh Knight with a career best unbeaten 95, well supported by Colin McConnell 48 and Martin Firbank 34. With just one over to spare there was no room for niceties as Ali Lee struck a 6 to secure a 6 wicket win.
It's very tight at the top of Division M with the top three separated by just 8 points with three games to go. The final game of the season at home to leaders Farndon could end up as the championship decider.