Thrilling comeback sees Stow cricketers clinch title
Stow beat Vauxhall Mallards
by five wickets
Stow produced a great comeback to beat Mallards on the final day of the season and pip Swardeston to the Division One title.
Knowing that a win would guarantee a return to the top flight next season, there were scenes of jubilation in the Stow dressing room afterwards when learning of Swardeston’s demise in their final fixture.
Eight wins from nine and 205 points from a possible 225 in the second half of the campaign was the key to Stow’s title success.
Stow captain Esse won the toss and elected to field on a pitch that looked favourable to bowlers.
Openers Ward and Cook did not capitalise on the conditions as Mallards raced towards an opening stand of 50 runs in no time at all.
Moulton, Esse and Brassett joined the bowling attack but the 100 was brought up in the 15th over and Stow looked subdued in the field.
Esse looked to Thomson to give Stow a spark and he provided it in his first over.
With the score on 130, Thomson got a delivery to turn sharply to bowl Amos for a well-made 46.
At drinks, Mallards had progressed to 149-1 and Stow knew they needed an improved performance in the second 25 overs.
Thomson (2-24) started the improvement after picking up the big wicket of Goldsmith.
Esse (2-41) joined in before Ward returned to the attack to pick up two quick scalps.
Brassett (1-26) and Ward’s third wicket in a five-over spell left Mallards on 199 for 7.
Two wickets for J. Cook and another for Esse saw Mallards bowled out for 225 after they had been 130 for 0.
Stow’s openers Thomson and Denny had to be watchful in the early overs.
Denny was dismissed for 10 before Fairey joined Thomson at the crease with the latter timing the ball beautifully.
Stow had moved onto 78 when Fairey was caught-behind to leave Stow two down.
Despite hitting an early six, Landymore was dismissed for 15 and Esse quickly followed him to leave Stow in trouble on 131 for 5.
Thomson remained at the other end and continued to bat calmly as he passed 50 without any trouble.
G. Cook joined him to keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely as the finish line got nearer.
As the partnership passed to they then started to up the scoring as they looked to complete the victory.
Cook registered his fourth maximum with a great strike and Thomson moved on to 87.
Cook moved to a well-deserved 50 with a great knock under pressure.
Meanwhile, Thomson completed the victory by reaching his century in majestic style with a clip through the leg side.
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