Just champion Amport II

Just champion Amport II

Just champion Amport II

First published in Sport

Redlynch and Hale III v Amport II.

Amport II secured the NW Regional Division 3 title by the narrowest of margins. Needing to match local rivals Penton's return Amport secured 22 points courtesy of an eight wicket win over Redlynch & Hale III. After a three hour wait it was confirmed that Penton secured a 22 point win also, meaning Amport won the title by .05 of a point.

Desperate to bat first Amport were disappointed to lose the toss and take the field. The opening overs came and went with runs hard to come by as well as wickets. The accurate new ball attack of Ben Black and Pete Van Der Westhuizen were unable to make the breakthrough and eventually Brandon Smith bowling as first change produced a fast in-ducker to clean up Church and make the first mark in the wickets column.

The second wicket fell soon after to Smith thanks to a well judged catch by Dan Cartridge. Darren Goacher claimed wicket number three and Amport sensed the opportunity to claim more quickly. However, the fourth wicket pair dug in. Runs were hard to come by as the overs ticked by and Sam Birks and Jack Kent tried to make the next incision into the batting order but were unable to do so.

As the overs ticked into the 30s the score was still less than 100 before Smith came back into the attack and soon wickets began to fall. A stunning effort by Martin Randall at slip saw the ball fall to Robert Randall and his quick reactions saw the ball returned to Smith and the run out completed.

Redlynch tried to up the run rate but Smith was too much for them claiming two in two balls to finish with 4-17 in ten overs. Skipper Goacher then claimed the final wicket of the season in the final over leaving Redlynch 136-7 after 42.

This was a very gettable target, but Amport knew they could only afford to lose four wickets in doing so,.

Rob Randall continued his fine season by scoring reaching 22 in no time before a leading edge saw a catch presented to cover with 33 on the board in the seventh over.

Nick Bone then kept the steady Martin Randall company and the two soon got on top of the Redlynch attack. At least one boundary an over was being registered as Bone in particular was looking confident launching sixes over the short straight boundary.

He soon reached his 50 and with Randall hitting the odd boundary the victory target was soon in sight. A pulled four from Randall was soon followed by a big straight six from Bone to end the game, Bone finishing with 57not out including four sixes, and Randall 38 not out.

With victory secured the anxious wait for news started.

The title was confirmed and the team can look back on a great season with all contributing at some point during the campaign. Under the expert leadership of Darren Goacher the team grew during the year and are looking forward to life in a higher division in 2015, and renewing rivalries with Penton, who should be congratulated on their excellent season too.

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