Eastwood Town Cricket Club’s first XI secured their survival in Division B last weekend with a game to spare.
However, the shine was taken off this feat as Eastwood’s six game winning streak came crashing to a halt as they were soundly beaten by a strong and now promoted West Bridgfordians side.
West Bridgfordians won the toss and batted first, laying down a reasonable start, getting to 26 before the first wicket fell, as Dean Blake held on to a rocket at second slip with Jon Shead departing for 14.
Bridgfordians’ number three batsman Andrew Sharpe struggled, making just ten before being bowled by Mark Smith, but Nick De Villiers was holding the innings together with support from Jason Koriya, and after the drinks breakthe pair pushed on and began to score at around six an over.
Koriya chipped a ball back to Hitesh Godhaniya after adding 27, but with ten overs left to bat after Koriya’s departure, West Bridgfordians were well placed at 121 for 3 and could attack for the remainder of the innings.
And attack they duly did, getting to 182 from their 42 overs. De Villiers found himself a casualty of the final push, holing one out to the improving hands of Ryan Elliott for a superb 71.
West Bridgfordians’ middle order flung the bat in the final few, with skipper Oliver Straw firing off 19.
Eastwood’s reply started badly as Jason Wooliscroft nicked one behind off Kushal Shah from just the second ball.
Smith and Steven Leese looked to be getting Eastwood back on the road to recovery as they put on 33 together, but then the game catastrophically changed in the space of just 13 balls.
Shah picked up three Eastwood wickets and Straw claimed another, as Eastwood calamitously collapsed to 37 for 5.
Ryan Elliott and Adam Leigh were Eastwood’s last real hope, and they grafted to add 25 for the sixth wicket.
However, they were both dismissed with the score in the 60s, which meant Eastwood’s top seven had only contributed 43 runs with the bat.
Blake took the attack to the bowlers, hitting a succession of boundaries, and Eastwood started to wonder if a comeback was possible as they got closer and closer to their target.
But once Blake fell to George Orange for 44, the job was nearly done and Shah took the final wicket to complete his five-wicket haul.
The second and third XI’s games both fell victim to the weather, with the latter needing to beat Stanton-by-Dale this weekend and hope other results go their way if they are to achieve promotion.