CRICKET: Clark is Wiltshire's wonder
WILTSHIRE’S Neil Clark says that blasting his county side to the Unicorns Championship Western Division title with a show-stopping ton was the stuff that ‘every batsman dreams of’.
Clark, who is also the captain of West of England Premier League outfit Potterne, hit an unbeaten 126 against Shropshire last season but in repeating that feat in Whitchurch this week, the Wiltshire batsman fired his team to the league title on a dramatic final day of competition on Tuesday.
Thanks in no small part to Clark’s heroics, Wiltshire can now look forward to bidding for the overall Unicorns Championship title in a four-day clash with Eastern Division winners Staffordshire, which is expected to take place at South Wilts at the beginning of next month.
“It was something that I dreamed of really and I think every batsman dreams of that happening to them but you never really expect it to,” said Clark.
“I always thought that Colesey (Mike Coles, captain) was the key man for us and when he got out early, I thought we were in trouble.
“I knew that it was up to me to try and do it for us and I was just thinking about doing my best – I didn’t expect that I’d end up doing what I did and winning it for us with a ton.
“It got really, really tense towards the end of the last day but when I hit that last four, everyone just rushed on to the pitch to start celebrating.
“We probably stayed at the ground for another two hours after the game finished and we were allowed to stay an extra night in the hotel, which was really good.
“There were some sore heads in the morning but I think we all deserved it.
“Getting the chance to play four-day cricket is going to be really special and I hope that work are going to let me get the time off.”
Wiltshire lifted the crown courtesy of their victory after Cheshire, who had taken over as league leaders in the penultimate round of fixtures earlier this month, lost against Oxfordshire.
Wiltshire have only won the Minor Counties Championship title twice in their history, with their two national victories coming in 1902 and 1909.
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