BOTH Wisbech Town and March Town warmed up with victories for this weekend’s derby at The Avenue, which is the final game of the season.
Wisbech captain James Williams is confident about his side’s chances in the clash of the Cambs Tucker Division One local rivals, casting doubt on whether March are the form team of the division.
He said: “That was only when they had Steve Seymour back, but the previous week they didn’t do too well.
Wisbech are chasing the runners-up spot as they are just a point behind second-placed Sawston, and Williams added: “Wisbech v March is always like an FA Cup tie – anyone can do anything.
“We probably deserved to get a win on our last meeting but we didn’t bowl well. Hopefully we can win next time.”
Hockey duo Gary Freear and Ben Allsop will be missing again, although had the title been at stake then the duo would have played.
Acting March skipper John Gilson said his side are a form team – but in the bowling department only: “We both want to win the game. They can finish either second or third while we could get fourth or fifth. We are playing for pride, really,” he commented.
“We lost Ringo (key bowler and captain Chris Ringham) 11 or 12 games ago when I took over and, apart from a couple of rain-offs, we’ve only lost one game since then.
“Callum Young and Josh Jackman have gone back to university, and we’re quite happy with how the youngsters have played. The bowling has been great, where we have suffered is we haven’t scored enough runs.”
March had the closest victory, overcoming one of their typical recent batting collapses beating Ramsey by just six runs in the penultimate over to haul an impressive 25 points.
March posted 180-8 after being 79-6 at one stage. However Matty Vail 46 and Tyler Phillips 32 added a crucial 65 for the seventh wicket and 16-year-old Toby Nulty hit a vital 21 not out at the end on his first team Saturday debut.
Phillips was one of the stars with the ball, taking 3-27 off 11.2 overs, while Aussie Ryan Meyer kept it tight with 3-41 off 16 as Ramsey were dismissed for 174 in the 47th over.
Gilson said: “That got us out of the mire. The position we were in at 79-6 I didn’t think we would get enough runs, but we were more than happy to get 180.”
The Sunday 2nd Xl reached their fourth consecutive Ernie Wool Trophy final with a six wicket victory over local rivals Chatteris, at The Avenue.
The inform duo of Rob Moden (51) and David Haslegrave (71) added 127 for the third wicket in impressive style, chasing the Chatteris total of 145-9 off their 40 overs. Sam Mason again bowled well for his 4-7 off his eight overs.
The home side made early inroads into the Chatteris batting and after 12 overs had reduced them to 13-3 due to the opening bowling of Josh Fox and Mason.
The visitors recovered with Jason Fraser striking 42 and Anthony Palmer scoring a well constructed half century before he was run out by a superb direct throw from 14-year-old Adam Conyard.
March’s openers went within four overs on 6-2 before Moden, who the previous week hit a century, struck six boundaries, with Haslegrave hitting 11 including three sixes, before they were both dismissed off successive balls.
Fenland Trophy champions March now play Doddington in the final next Sunday at Chatteris.
Williams played a captain’s innings in scoring 67 not out as Town easily beat Saffron Walden by seven wickets on Saturday in the Cambs Tucker League.
Williams ended the match in tandem with Jack Hastings 28 not out for a 20-point win.
Walden could only muster 148-8 in their 48 overs (Craig Johnson 6-65) and Town knocked off the runs in the 26th over for only three men down.
Williams said: “They didn’t score really quickly. We didn’t take our catches and could have bowled them out earlier. We didn’t take a wicket until the 12th over but we bowled decently.”
In Rutland League Division 2, Wisbech Sunday beat Ufford Park by five wickets.
Ufford Park got off to a flyer, 50-0 off 10 overs before Gary Freear 4-28 and John Mallett 1-22 stifled their scoring only conceding 20 runs off the next 15 overs. Ufford were 175 all out in 44.5 overs (James Williams 3-31).
Ufford’s total was comfortably reached, Danny Haynes 48, Charles Baxter 34 and Barry Morris 46.
Wisbech 3rds finished off their season by winning at Doddington by 7 runs in the Fenland Invitation Trophy with 15-year-old Brodie Ellis getting his maiden 50.
Ellis hit 85 and Paul Strickle 47 in Wisbech’s 201-9. Pick of the bowlers were Ben Pyle 2-19 and John Palmer 3-18.
Scott Bamford scored 48, Dan Beavis 22 and Ben Pyle 31 in Doddington’s 194. Leading bowlers were David LeMoir 3-30 and Danny Emmington 3-21.