Lechlade edge closer to another promotion
LECHLADE moved a step closer to Premier Two with a 91-run win over their title rivals Rockhampton at the Manor Ground on Saturday.
The success has now seen Lechlade open up a 24-point lead at the top of the Glos/Wilts Division with six games to play.
Lechlade’s Brad Dial and Joe Breet led the way with a 140-run third-wicket partnership which put the hosts in the driving seat early on.
The Manor Ground outfit, having been put into bat by the visitors, lost both opening batsmen Freddie Martin (1) and Will Nichols (2) with only 10 on the board, within the first seven overs.
Breet joined Dial at the crease and the pair set about the Rockhampton bowling attack, with the South Africa Under 19 international playing a flawless innings as he took the lead role in the partnership and Breet the anchor.
Dial found the boundary on a regular basis and the pair soon had the scoreboard ticking over at nearly six an over and had taken the score to 107 by the drinks break.
The pair continued in the same vein after the interval and both batsman looked set for big scores.
Dial, closing in on his century, was first to depart when he was trapped lbw by James Hancox for a 91-ball 94, including nine fours and three sixes.
Breet, who has now surpassed 500 runs for the season at an average of 56.55, then took the lead role and with the support of the middle and lower order added another 79 runs to the total before being dismissed lbw for 85.
Breet, who has recently been dropped from the county squad, apparently as a consequence of his poor club form, scored his 85 off 94 balls with five fours and five sixes in the innings.
A rain delay saw the match reduced to 45 overs and as Lechlade pressed the accelerator for quick runs they lost wickets cheaply closing on 259 with Asanka Vithanage scoring a quick fire 35 off 24 balls.
Rockhampton in reply never really got to grips with the run rate, with a further break for the rain seeing the winning target adjusted to 230 off 40 overs.
The Lechlade attack bowled with their now customary economy, as they restricted the visitors to just 57 runs off the first 20 overs and, as a consequence, the game was all but over.
Rockhampton eventually closed on 139, with Paul Godding being the pick of the Lechlade bowlers as he finished with 3-29. Vithanage picked up a brace and Michael Craigs, Luke Sellers and Ryan Higgins a wicket apiece.
Lechlade coach Luke Sellers said: “It was a very important win today for the team and it gives us the upper hand and momentum in the title run-in.
“Brad and Joe showed their true class and I’m not surprised that they are the two leading batsmen in the division this season.”