1:23pm Friday 20th September 2013
ALDBROUGH St John saved their own skins on the final day of the season, their sixwicket home victory over Lands consigning their beaten opponents to the drop.
There was no reprieve for Lands as they slipped through the relegation trapdoor. After starting the day knowing they needed to defeat their hosts heavily to stand any chance of leapfrogging them in the table, most hope had disappeared by the interval when Lands closed their 40-over innings on 145-9. This meant that Aldbrough had already claimed the four bonus points needed to ensure safety, and they subsequently blitzed their way to victory.
Andrew Elstob’s half century was the main feature of the Lands innings, with the visitors contained by the bowling of Jack Stapleton and Simon Raw who shared six cheap wickets. Lands then struck two immediate blows when the home run chase began, but that only brought Jason Williams to the crease and he proceeded to blast eight fours and five sixes in an innings of 82 that virtually ended the contest. The Saints won more than 13 overs to spare.
The Lands’ slip also meant Brompton’s relegation worries were ended, even though they suffered a 41-run defeat at Haughton.
Brompton did the first part of their job well enough, confining Haughton to 137-9 with John Bielby (4-34) and Aaron Allinson (3-43). But despite an opening 33 from Jack Heads Haughton were always on top after Greg Osbourne’s opening burst of 3-12, and with nine players given the chance to turn their arms over Brompton slid to 96 all out.
With all the bottom sides struggling, the surprise of the final day was left to Middleton St George who toppled newly crowned champions Rockliffe Park by five runs, just the second defeat of an outstanding season for the Park lads.
George racked up 153-8 in 35 overs, a late unbeaten halfcentury from Dale Johnson the highlight, and this proved just enough as Dave Glew (2-12) and Paul Rogers (3-63) held the run chase in check, Park partly sealing their own fate with three run outs contributing as they finished just short on 148-9.
In the day’s other top flight games, an all-round team performance from Barton brought them a five-wicket home win over Cliffe, and Dan Lee (4-13) set Raby Castle on their way to a four wicket success over East Cowton, who could only make 121 in 34 overs.
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