Ward nervous for the title decider

This Is Wiltshire: Malmesbury skipper Jack Ward Malmesbury skipper Jack Ward

KEVIN Pamphilon says Wootton Bassett are “desperate” to be playing cricket at a higher level once more but fears his side may have blown their chance last weekend, writes Matt Abbott.

Wootton Bassett go into this weekend’s final game of the Wiltshire County League Division One season against third place Urchfont knowing victory will see them win the title, but only if Swindon Civil Service steal a win over top-of-the-table Malmesbury.

Coach Pamphilon said his side face an uphill task after last weekend’s shock four-wicket defeat to Collingbourne, who won only their second game of the season.

“We’re not in the best place after last week,” Pamphilon said.

“That was a defeat we didn’t see coming but we haven’t had a lot of luck with the toss all season. It’s a major setback.

“It’s all in Malmesbury’s favour, it’s theirs to lose.”

Malmesbury are on 302 points after 17 games, while Bassett sit 13 points behind in second.

Pamphilon added: “Hopefully Swindon Civil Service can do us a favour.

“Urchfont will be tough. We’re two good teams. We’re going to have to work hard and play well. It’s all about who shows up on the day.”

Jack Ward’s Malmesbury side are in a strong position to win the division.

But the first team captain said while the team are looking forward to the match, they are nervous, too.

He said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve been in this situation.

“We’ve got a really young side and a squad of about 14 or 15 who have played and grown together over the last few years.

“I would like to say I’m confident but you only have to look at the Collingbourne-Bassett game last week.

“Anything can happen in this league. We won’t take it for granted.

“We aren’t over confident, we’re nervous, but we’ve got a good side out.”

Malmesbury will be without 17-year-old batsman James Gillespie who has scored more than 1,000 runs in 18 innings this season - but Ward is happy with the squad at his disposal otherwise.

He said he has been impressed with Gillespie and another of the side’s 17-year-old’s, bowler Josh Langley who has taken 38 wickets during the course of a season which could now end in glory for the whole team.

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