Heartbreak for Goatacre
GOATACRE suffered a heartbreaking end to a magnificent season as an obscure rule denied them promotion to Premier One on the final day.
Craig Gibben’s side went into their home game with Keynsham thinking they only needed three bonus points to secure their third straight promotion, and thought they had achieved their goal midway through the visitors’ innings.
But when Keynsham skipper Gary Worgan unusually declared on 227, he did so in the knowledge his side would pick up two extra bonus points if they went on to win the game.
Goatacre came out to bat needing to only reach 120 to secure promotion, but struggled to recompose themselves having previously believed they were up and were bowled out for only 94.
As the final wicket fell the Goatacre squad were devastated as promotion had slipped through their fingers on a bizarre afternoon.
“We won the toss and decided to bat, which I thought was the right decision because we could get enough bonus points and I thought they could not really stop us,” captain Gibbens said.
“We got three, and I thought that was enough because our lead was then 23 and I didn’t know a way of a team being able to get 24.
“I thought we were up, and all of the players thought we were up, and then we just carried on trying to bowl them out.
“Then their captain came over and said he was declaring, and he told me about being able to get the two bonus points, and that was a rule I had never come across before.
“But I said to him it was fine, and fair play to him for knowing the rule.
“To then switch our mentality from being up to having to get to 120 was very difficult, but we went out there trying to win the game, and it just never seemed to be on for us.
“All it needed was for each of us to score 12, but it wasn’t to be and we were all devastated as the last wicket went down.”
Despite having their ultimate goal cruelly snatched away, Gibbens was quick to remember a remarkable season which saw them come so close to promotion, and also fall one game short of a place at Lord’s in the National Village Cup.
“It was so close to being the best season in the club’s history,” he said.
“But we fell short in the two biggest games which was very disappointing, and we will need to have a look at that as a club now.
“The club has never been in Premier One and it would have been amazing, but we have to get it together now and come back next year.”
Gibbens is set to relinquish the captaincy following three superb years at the helm.
“I am not the greatest advert for dedication these days because I have struggled to make nets and things because of work commitments, and I just think it is time for someone else to take it on.
“I have loved every minute of it and it has been an honour to do, and I have done it during time when we have been very successful.
“Sometimes, though, you need a new voice in there doing the talking between overs and things like that, and I think it is time for that now.”