Clevedon close in on league title
PUBLISHED: 18:01 21 August 2018
Clevedon are one victory away from securing the WEPL championship title after defeating Goatacre at the weekend.
Piers McBride with the Moet & Chandon on ice
Well, it’s virtually all over bar the shouting thanks to this glittering all-round performance which gladdened the hearts of the Dial Hill faithful who turned out in considerable numbers to salute their cricketing heroes.
As the result of this lop-sided victory Clevedon secured 22 points and with just two rounds of matches left to play, they stretched their lead over nearest rivals Bath to 37 points.
Of course mathematically Bath could still, just about, catch Clevedon but to all intents and purposes that train has left the station and it is Jake Lintott and his band of cricketing brothers who will secure the trophy next Saturday at Downend.
I know I’ve waxed lyrical throughout the summer, but really Clevedon have justified every single plaudit I have cast their way and we should not underestimate their achievement in emerging as one of the best club sides in the country.
There is no promotion from WEPL One quite simply because the next step up is county cricket.
Goatacre arrived desperate for points in their fight to avoid relegation but they were forced to return home virtually empty-handed once captain Lintott had opted to bat first on a flat hard surface.
A second wicket partnership of 105 between Masoor Khan and Max Curtis ended when Max perished hit wicket for 31, but Mas batted serenely on and with Harry Ellison keeping him company 46 further runs were added for the third wicket before the opener was adjudged lbw for 83, an unfortunate dismissal when, not for the first time this season, a three figure score appeared inevitable.
Never mind, Harry batted with his signature aplomb and included six boundaries in his run-a-ball 54. Cam Harding chipped in with 22 before Connor Crane, never one to play an ugly shot, guided the ship into harbour with a smooth and unbeaten 24 leaving the visitors in considerable difficulties after tea.
Pace master Danny Williams doesn’t mess about and he got bowling procedures underway by uprooting the off stump of Jonathon Wilkins with the first ball of the Goatacre innings.
Now with a taste of success, the unplayable Williams immediately repeated the dose by cleaning out numbers three to six in no time at all. He completed his 10 overs on the trot to close with 5-27 at the same time as closing off the match as a meaningful contest with the visitors at 32-5.
Mention must be made here of a quite astonishing slip catch made by Harry Ellison off Williams, it was a sleight of hand conversion that would have bemused even Penn and Teller.
Time for spin at the other end and after Will Thirkell had completed an exploratory six overs for just 11 runs, relentless skipper Jake Lintott opted to bowl himself.
Carnage, complete carnage as Goatacre’s innings immediately collapsed, three lbw’s and two catches one after the other in quick succession Jake’s reward as he finished with 5-16 from five mesmerising overs.
A word of praise for visiting opening bat Joseph Breet who carried his bat for a gutsy undefeated 37, but he was left to plough a lone furrow as Clevedon worked their way through the batsmen at the other end.
Prior to this match by the way the Clevedon skipper Jake had played two National 20/20 matches for Gloucestershire, one against Sussex, 2-26 and the other against Hampshire (1-32), and as the result of his success he will surely feature in this Saturday’s quarter-final encounter away at Worcestershire.
Back to Dial Hill. It’s almost impossible to find any flaws in this excellent all-round performance. The batsmen all prospered, the bowlers, all two of them, were rewarded fully for their accuracy and guile while the out cricket was worthy of a side with title aspirations.
So it’s off to Downend next Saturday and, in closing, readers will be delighted to know I have completed this report without once mentioning my state of health.