Potterne defeat Lechlade in championship decider
2:24pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in Sport
WEPL Glos Wilts Division.
Lechlade 232 all out.
LECHLADE’S title dreams came to an end on Saturday as they fell 62 runs short of victory in their title showdown with Potterne.
As a result, Potterne clinched the Glos Wilts title by seven points with Lechlade finishing runners-up, their highest league placing in their 127-year history.
There was double disappointment for the riverside club as the seconds, who similarly needed a victory to clinch their division, were beaten in the championship decider by Marlborough.
A gracious Lechlade captain Paul Godding said: "We were beaten by the better team.
"I don’t think we can have any complaints as they have beaten us twice in the league this year and are worthy champions.
"I am very proud of the boys’ efforts today and this season and to finish second by just seven points having played a game less is no mean achievement."
Potterne won the toss and decided to bat first in what proved to be ideal batting conditions. The home side got off to a steady start and had put on 46 runs before Gooding had Tom Cullen trapped LBW for 22. Lechlade followed this up with the wicket of Luke De Sousa, also for 22.
With the score on 64, Lechlade seemed to have taken the upper hand but were unable to capitalise. The Potterne batsmen then added a further 47 to take them to 111 without further loss at the midway point of the innings.
Sahan Wijerathane and Neil Clark added steadily to the Potterne total and had taken the score to 155 when Clark skied a catch to Burdock off Will Nichols. The pair had shared in a partnership of 91 and had wrestled the initiative back from Lechlade.
Wijerathane and new partner Ollie Smith continued in the same vein until Lechlade finally made another breakthrough in the 45th over when Sellers bowled Wijerathane shortly after the batsman had completed his century.
Potterne, with only four wickets down, were then able to throw the bat in the final five overs and managed to add a further 64 runs to their total to close on 294 with Sellers picking up two more wickets.
Lechlade, in reply, got off to a stunning start with 18 coming from the first over with Joe Breet scoring 14 of them.
Lechlade’s euphoria, however, was short-lived as Breet was dismissed two overs later with only another seven added to the total.
Nichols and Arnie Yugaraja slowly calmed nerves and had taken the score to 60 when disaster struck the visitors. In the space of 26 balls, Lechlade lost the wickets of Yugaraja, Nichols and Godding for the addition of just six runs and found themselves floundering at 66–4.
Vithanage, who had been promoted up the order as a pinch hitter in the search of quick runs, was joined at the crease by Arran Dickinson and the pair set about trying to rebuild the Lechlade innings. The pair added 94 to the score and had given Lechlade an outside chance when Potterne brought back their strike bowler Dylan Higgins for his second spell.
He promptly had Dickinson trapped LBW for 37 and Dickinson’s demise brought about another Lechlade collapse. Vithanage (50) followed soon after and with fleeting appearances from Burdock and Ali Killham Lechlade had been reduced to 174-8.
The Lechlade tail wagged in a final attempt to rescue the game but after a final rearguard partnership of 42 between Ross Jeffels (38*) and Tris Hawkes Lechlade were eventually bowled out for 232.
LECHLADE’S second XI fared no better in their league decider with Marlborough, losing by six wickets and the title by just two points. Lechlade set a target of 236 which Marlborough chased down with the loss of just four wickets with two overs to spare.