CRICKET: It's crunch time for Potterne

This Is Wiltshire: Potterne's Luke De Souza (middle) hit 64 for the villagers last weekend Potterne's Luke De Souza (middle) hit 64 for the villagers last weekend

POTTERNE vice-chairman Graham Gaiger reckons that his side’s chances of promotion could hinge on their two upcoming top-of-the-table showdowns.

The villagers are just a point behind second-placed Clevedon following their three-wicket win over Cheltenham last weekend and welcome their North Somerset rivals to the Grove next weekend.

A week later, Potterne travel to current table-toppers Ilminster, who are the only side to inflict defeat on Neil Clark’s men so far this season, and Gaiger thinks that his team will know just how healthy their chances of progressing to the top flight of the West of England Premier League are in two weekends’ time.

“We thought that we might have a chance of doing alright this season but we weren’t really sure what to expect in the league at all,” said Gaiger.

“We’ve obviously only lost once all season but we have had two more games rained off than the two sides above us, which is a massive disadvantage.

“We lost to Ilminster and we’ve tied with Clevedon. We’ve got Clevedon at home next weekend and then we play Ilminster away, so the next two weeks are really important.

“After those two games, we’ll know if we’ve still got a chance of going up or whether we’ve thrown it away.”

In a match reduced to 40 overs due to a delayed start, Potterne won the toss and put Cheltenham in to bat first.

Jake Roberts and Josh De Souza both took two wickets apiece as the visitors’ first five wickets fell for just 75 runs before Rob Cooper hit an unbeaten 55 from 62 balls to help Cheltenham reach 211-8.

Luke De Souza (64) and James Hendrickson (50) led the charge for Clark’s men and despite Harry Arthur taking 3-36, Potterne captain Clark added 35 as the hosts reached 217-7 early in the penultimate over.

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