A first for Bashley Seconds

Neil Thurgood

Neil Thurgood

First published in Sport by

Bashley (Rydal) second team have written themselves into the Southern Electric Premier League annals by becoming the first 2nd XI to win a championship.

They clinched the Division 3 title when they beat relegation threatened St Cross Symondians II by 54 runs and Tichborne Park stumbled at the final hurdle, losing by two wickets at Alton.

It gave Bashley the title by a 12-point margin and, with Havant and Totton & Eling both relegated, a niche as the only second team playing in Division 2 cricket next season.

Bashley and Tichborne Park had already tied up their promotion places a fortnight ago, so the final round of matches became a shoot-out for the title.

Ironically, Bashley's day didn't begin at all well – James Underwood being bowled by Nick O'Connor off the first ball of the St Cross match at the BCG. But Neil Thurgood (25) and Josh Digby (43) redressed the balance, leaving Simon Watkins (30), Ryan Gilmour (28) and Simon Ridley (27) to point the way to a 200-run total.

Bowling Bashley out secured the five bonus points St Cross needed to secure their own safety.

Jack Jenkins (48) and Charlie Ayres (32) eased the St Cross reply to 87-1, but Phil Morris (4-25) and Simon Watkins (2-20) ripped out the visitors middle-order to leave Digby (3-26) to finish the innings at 146 all out.

Tichborne Park were three points ahead of Bashley at start of play, but things went terribly wrong for them at the Jubilee Ground, where Alton II by two wickets off the penultimate ball.

Only Queenslander Joe Roach (46) and Paul Primmer (44) really fired as Tichborne were bowled out for 161 - a target Alton eventually chased down having overcome a worrying mid-innings collapse, when four wickets fell for 12 runs.

Jason Penn (45) and Mark Heffernan (43) top scored for Alton, who scrambled over the line after Primmer had taken two late wickets.

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