CIRENCESTER moved up to second place in the Readers Gloucestershire County League Division One table with an eventually decisive 72-run victory at local rivals Poulton on Saturday.
Readers Glos CCL Div One
Poulton 103 all out
Cirencester 175 all out
Having lost just once this season, the Town were clear favourites to overcome a home side that had struggled thus far, but on a wicket affected by the heavy Friday night thunderstorms, they did not have it all their own way as Poulton battled hard to stay in contention until their batting subsided in the closing overs.
In the event it was the efforts of in-form all-rounders Gareth Williams and Jock Jamieson-Black that once again turned the tide Cirencester’s way.
Having elected to bat, Town skipper, Williams saw his side through an initial collapse to register his third half-century of the campaign and also picked up two vital wickets after tea, while Jamieson-Black hit 24 and then followed up with a devastating spell of left-arm-spin taking 4-11 in nine overs which ended Poulton’s hopes of a successful chase.
The Town were forced to struggle early in their innings however as Will Mason was caught off Robbie James having only just got off the mark and Ben Moody was smartly run out attempting an ill-judged single with the total on 22.
That soon became 37-3 as Andy Reynolds was bowled by Faizal Beeri, but a solid stand of 55 between Williams and Jamieson-Black steadied the innings, before the latter was caught off the left arm spin of Mark Higginson having hit three boundaries in his 24.
Higginson then exploited the awkward bounce to claim three more victims, eventually trapping Williams leg-before for a hard-earned 62 as the Town faltered to 126-6, but useful contributions from Will Rudd (21) and Simon Rowe (18) helped raise the final total to a respectable 175 before the final wicket fell off the last ball of Town’s 45 overs.
When Poulton replied, the pace and accuracy of Ross Jeffels soon proved almost unplayable as he removed Higginson leg-before for three, but Smy (18) and Gordon-Walker (44) survived productively if precariously, until the advent of spinners Williams and Jamieson-Black brought about a decisive collapse.
From 90-3 Poulton slithered to 103 all out, as the middle order disintegrated, Mason and Rudd taking two and three catches respectively, while Andy Cox and Rowe cleaned up the home tail with the last three wickets.