Nailsea edge to victory in thrilling climax

PUBLISHED: 09:18 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 09 August 2017

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

DAVID MARIUZ

Nailsea defeated Hambrook with just two balls to spare and the last pair at the wicket.

Nailsea first team travelled to Hambrook knowing that defeat would land them in a dogfight over the last couple of weeks of the season.

With sporadic showers causing three breaks in the Hambrook innings, the match was gradually reduced to a 30 overs a side affair.

Opening bowlers Richard Morris and Terry Robinson bowled tidy spells, but it was the introduction of Josh Dann that started a flurry of wickets. Josh took 4-39, with skipper Tom Moss chipping in with his first wicket for three years and a wicket apiece for Morris and Robinson.

Combined with a tidy spell from Mark Randall-Willsher, Hambrook never really accelerated and ended on 146-8 from their 30 overs.

With Nailsea’s top order generally missing in action for reasons too varied to mention, skipper Moss elected to open himself, together with perennial number 11 Dave Lippiatt. Although both fell cheaply, Dann with 24, Rob Wood with a grafted 42 and Rich Morris with 23 edged Nailsea closer to their target.

Wickets fell in a rush and with overs disappearing, the lower order found themselves with all to play for. Randall-Willsher added a vital 15, but with five required from the last over and the last pair at the crease, every outcome remained possible.

Robinson managed three from the first three balls of the over and it was left for Rich Kingscott to caress a glorious cover drive to the boundary to see Nailsea home with one wicket and two deliveries to spare.

In the greater scheme of the season, this win may prove to be the most significant as it provides a useful cushion against the relegation zone as the last games approach. Saturday’s visit to local rivals Portishead also holds massive importance.

With many second team regulars guesting in the first team, the visit of promotion chasing Churchways to The Grove was always going to be a challenge.

As it turned out, Nailsea put in a good team performance to push the visitors all the way. Churchways found themselves in a spot of bother as Adrian Proctor (1-29) and the impressive Nat Pinkney (3-33) bowled impressively at the start of their innings.

The loss of Rich Billows to a shoulder injury meant that with a weakened bowling attack through the middle overs, Lodhi with 42 and Singh, 87, were able to rebuild the Churchways innings.

With Steve Pursey chipping in with 3-7 at the end, Churchways closed on a useful 189-8 from their 40 overs.

In reply, Nailsea never really got any momentum going in the early overs, against an accurate and disciplined visiting attack. Nick Jervis battled hard to input some impetus, until he fell for 47.

With batsman coming in with no time to adapt, wickets tumbled. Nat Pinkney continued to show what an improving young cricketer he is, with a hard hitting 41 not out, but Nailsea never really threatened, finishing on a creditable 155-6.

On Satuarday, the Seconds host Old Bristolians Westbury, with the Thirds entertaining Hampset.

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