CRICKET: Wiltshire claim championship title

This Is Wiltshire: Neil Clark scored a century as Wiltshire beat Shropshire Neil Clark scored a century as Wiltshire beat Shropshire

WILTSHIRE claimed the Unicorns Championship Western Division title after clinching victory over hosts Shropshire on a dramatic final day today.

The visitors wrapped up a four-wicket win at Whitchurch Cricket Club, to overhaul Herefordshire, who beat Wales, while leaders Cheshire's defeat to Oxfordshire also opened the way for Mike Coles men to claim the division.

They will now meet the winners of the Eastern Division for the right to claim the Minor Counties Championship, a title Wiltshire have only won twice and not at all since 1909.

The victory was made possible after Shropshire, who also harboured hopes of lifting the Western Division crown, forfeited their second innings on the second day to try and force a result.

The home side had reached 332-9 in their first innings on Sunday and Wiltshire reached 61-2 in reply before the weather intervened.

Wiltshire declared their first innings at that total and then Shropshire did likewise with their second innings, setting the visitors 272 to claim victory.

Wiltshire had reached 71-3 by the close on day two and then needed 200 from 40 overs to snatch victory.

In a tense finish, in which 11 was needed off the final two overs, they got the job done, courtesy of a magnificent knock of 130 from 184 balls from Potterne's Neil Clark, while wicketkeeper Adam Miles added 44.

Team boss Neil Shardlow said: "Herefordshire scored 21 points for their win but I think they were three behind us and Cheshire's defeated gave us a chance.

"We're absolutely delighted.''

MORE REACTION TO WILTSHIRE'S TRIUMPH IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES

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