I’Anson champions Grayswood earn dramatic tie at Tilford
Before the match, both sides stood around the pitch and observed a minute’s silence in memory of Tilford cricketing stalwart David Jervis, who had died during the week.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat.
Accurate bowling from Iain Jackson and Henry Hind restricted the score to 15 off the first 11 overs and soon the openers were both out with just 35 on the board.
But the home side’s fortunes changed with a magnificent 121-run partnership for the third wicket between George Ellis (66) and Matt Swarbrick before Ellis was bowled by Jackson.
Swarbrick continued to hit out before he was bowled for 86 at a run a ball in the latter stage of the innings.
He was well supported by Andy Hall Hall who hit a quick 20 not out.
The innings closed on 212 for five after 45 overs with Jackson taking two for 20 off his nine overs and Hind conceding just 24 runs from his nine overs.
After losing an early wicket, Jackson and James Atkinson made good progress with a stand of 91 before Atkinson holed out for 46, the first of three wickets for Ciaran Rooney (three for 36), and Jackson was run out by a direct throw from Ellis for 39.
Tilford then made further inroads to restrict the visitors to 142 for six.
However Cameron Kent (33) and Alastair Gloak (37) added 53 to make Grayswood favourites to win before the returning Huw Town-Jones took both wickets.
A six-ball duck for Andy Gloak left Grayswood needing six off the last over, to be bowled by Dan Wrenn, with nine wickets down.
The crowd fell silent in the fading light as Jonjo Conway hit two runs each off the fourth and fifth balls and the result came down to the final delivery with two more required.
Conway hit the ball through gully and the batters ran one – but Conway was run out by Jason Stones as the winning run was attempted.
The tie was a remarkable end to the season for the two teams – Grayswood were all out for 212 in an exciting finale to the season.
Stones finished with a miserly one for 13 off his nine overs.
Grayswood’s seconds ended a difficult season with a four-wicket win against Bramley.
Anil Raghuvanshi was playing his last game for the club and returned typically miserly figures of two for 12, a run out with one stump to aim at and hit the winning runs after skipper James Perrin had anchored the chase.
For the thirds, Seb Royds (95) went agonisingly close to a maiden century for the club and their young bowling attack was led by Rohan Nittur (five for two) in their 135-run win over Headley.
The Brewers knew beforehand that only victory would do, but half their team were on holiday and watching live on YouTube.
With eight front-line bowlers in the team, the plan was to bowl first. Unfortunately stand-in skipper Adrian Trim lost the toss and Alton were put in.
The openers started well against a very disciplined young opening attack, but a dropped catch from the keeper off Alex Freeman could have been a real turning point.
After John Porter fell for 15, Rich Housley looked good with a couple of classy boundaries but he soon got caught in the covers.
The umpire believed it didn’t carry but Housley walked anyway – this sporting act was one of many that helped make a tense game a very enjoyable one.
Once the openers had finished, Fernhurst changed to wide, loopy, slow bowling and some spin, using the variable bounce on offer.
The league’s top run scorer Freeman fell into the trap and snicked a wide ball for 54 but a late bit of attacking batting by Freddie Pattenden, Harry Lynn and a quickfire 11 by Matthew Craig meant Alton finished on 176 for seven.
With a very short boundary on one side, this was probably a little below par but an acceptable score to defend.
The opening bowlers for Alton soon found out Fernhurst were going on the attack from ball one with Liam Harding striking five quick boundaries.
A good catch behind by Jon Wills off Freddie Wilson brought in Fernhurst number three Josh Allen – with a strike rate of 166 off nine balls Alton were looking shell-shocked.
It took an excellent catch by Freeman off Trim to stop the onslaught but to their credit, Fernhurst kept going for it.
They were always above the run rate, so the only way Alton could get the win was to keep attacking or hope four bowling points would be enough.
Luckily for them, wickets kept coming and all but one catch was taken.
Once the final wicket fell – and with a wave to the camera – Alton discovered Grayswood had secured maximum points. But Alton, with four wins in their final five games, had done enough to stay up.
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