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 Bitter sweet day for Easton as solitary point denies them title



by our man at the match 

TYLER SCULTHORPE



A bitter sweet last day for Easton-on-the-Hill in a Rutland League Division Three home thriller against third placed East Carlton. 

They won by one wicket in a quite absorbing contest but were pipped to both title and promotion by the most minuscule of margins. 

Their 18 points from this low scoring affair put them level on 265 with eventual champions Isham. That meant most games won away from home came into play to decide the champions. Once again an identical return. 

Next up, batting points. Sadly, Isham had the most so took the silverware. Salt into the wound is the fact that, had the title been decided on bowling points, Easton would have won. 

Bitter sweet indeed - particularly because we have had a brilliant season during which we welcomed new lads to the club who have helped mould a very right knit squad which won't let this set back put them down. They will be more of a force next season.

Back to the match and, with skipper Josh Hallam winning the toss, there was no hesitation in electing to bowl first. He promptly handed the new ball to none other than Mr Reliable himself Asam Ali. 

Doing what he does best, and taking wickets for fun, Asam nabbed three in his first 5 overs,  finally finishing with figures of 5/48 from his 12 overs. Others among the wickets were Harsh Joshi, his signature slower ball deceiving East Carlton's most dangerous batsman who spooned a delivery up into the cover region for Joshi figures of 1/21 from 6 overs, and spinner Tom Fairclough.

Tom Fairclough welcomed back


Welcomed back after his  his long spell out through severe illness, it looked as though Tom hadn't been away as he carved his way through the middle order batsmen with immense figures of 3/5 from 4 overs.

Young Mitchell Thomas cleared up the final wicket when Harsh Joshi took a composed catch at square leg. East Carlton were all out for 97 so Easton worked out that the total had to be chased down by the 24th over for the title to be theirs.

The task looked, and sounded, relatively easy for the Easton batsmen but the East Carlton bowling, inspired by D Partridge, 4-37, thought otherwise. The top order batters were falling quickly, Easton finding  themselves in a dismal place at 45-6.

The visitors looked on to a winner but up stepped Harsh Joshi and Charlie Mitchell for,their say on the matter. 

The numbers 8 & 9 batsmen took matters into their own hands and held their nerves with a
brilliant 50-run partnership to put Easton within 4 runs of the target before Mitchell was bowled. 

Joshi did hit the winning runs with a glorious straight drive back over the bowler's head to win the game in the 29th over, making it a real show to watch for the players and fans who made their way up to the ECG in numbers to see if Easton were to bring it home.

As match reporter,  I thank all of the lads for making it a season to remember and individuals like captain Josh Hallam and player/groundsman Josh Ford for their incredible efforts on and off the field to actually give us the opportunity to play on a wonderful pitch and outfield. 

Also thanks to chairman David Wheatley for his efforts in raising significant amounts of money through grant applications, also helping keep the club alive and, finally, but by no means least, Lucinda Hallam for probably the best teas in the county!  

Published: 21/09/2017





 
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