Champagne is on ice for Purton
THE CHAMPAGNE is on ice for seven more days at Purton, with both the first and second teams tantalisingly close to being crowned champions of their respective divisions.
In Wiltshire League Division One, the first string are 45 points clear of second-placed Wootton Bassett following a host of abandonments over the weekend, with just 50 points left to play for this term.
Purton 2nds, meanwhile, are 21 points clear of Goatacre 3rds in Division Six with both sides only left with one more fixture, while third-placed White Horse have a game in hand but must make up a 44-point gap.
Mathematically, the two titles are not yet secure but something quite extraordinary would have to happen for Purton not to secure elevation into the West of England Premier League a year after they were denied the chance due to the fielding of an ineligible player according to the Wiltshire League rules.
For captain Elliot Hill, the fact that his side bounced back from that disappointment 12 months ago makes the triumph even more special.
He told the Advertiser: “There’s been lots talked about what happened last year but for me personally - and I know a couple of others as well - the way the league dealt with the situation last year provided us with the extra motivation to make sure we won the league this year.
“That’s pretty much all I’m going to say on that.
“It helped focus our minds on making sure we finished top of the pile again this year and followed the rules as such.
“You can’t really crown us as champions until it’s mathematically done but if we muck it up from here we’d have had to have done something pretty extraordinary.
“It’s pretty much done and dusted and I’m confident of getting whatever amount of points we need against Beanacre on Saturday.”
Swindon NALGO racked up 208 all out, with Sanjay Chauhan hitting 69 and Latif Hussein 57, before the skies opened on Saturday.
Hill said: “Seven or eight of us were going through the motions a bit on Saturday.
“We saw the forecast and that nearly backfired - they got a few more than they should have but they batted well.
“We would have backed ourselves to get what would have been a challenging total on that wicket.”
With Bassett and Urchfont also suffering call-offs, however, Purton are set to celebrate a massively successful year for the club in the next two weeks.
“It’s been a great club to be in and around this year,” said Hill. “People play sport 99 per cent of the time to win, I certainly do, and to have only lost three or four games between both the first and second teams all year means there are plenty of happy people around the place.
“It can only be a good thing and hopefully more people will see what we’re doing and want to come and play for us next year.
“From the core squad of 12 guys I think pretty much everyone at some point has directly affected a result in a positive way.
“There are also four or five guys who have come in and all have helped in some shape or form.
“When you’ve got guys in the seconds who are willing and confident in their own ability it’s great.”
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