The 2nds gained promotion to Div. 5 on Saturday by winning a hard-fought encounter against top-of-the-table rivals St. Lawrence. The game was described by ex-League Treasurer Robin Webster as being worthy of Div. 4 with fortunes swinging from one side to the other several times over the course of the match.
Having won the toss and batted, St. Lawrence set off at a fierce pace and had 50 on the board in just 8 overs - or at least they would have done if the scoreboard hadn't conked out earlier. Lucas and Guy managed to slow the scoring down with good, accurate spells which prevented St. Lawrence maintaining their momentum. Keith Hall took over from Lucas at the Cook's Field end and wickets soon began to tumble; firstly due to two brilliant runouts by Lucas and Guy (ably assisted by Nat) and then through the relentless accuracy of Keith's bowling which saw him grab 4 for 18 in just 5 overs. John Hall took the last one as the no. 9 attempted to 'Dilscoop' him (bloody cheek) and St. Lawrence were bowled out for 160 in the 31st over - a very gettable total. This was down to the teams characteristic resilience and belief, some high quality bowling and fielding by all, and represented a fine comeback from 50 for 0 off 8 overs.
Outwood set off at a similarly fast pace with Lucas and the Chairman putting on a quick-fire 40 off the first 5 overs. As in the first innings, the bowling side tidied up their act and the scoring rate slowed considerably. Outwood kept chipping away at the required total and all subsequent batsmen contributed double figures to the cause. Rain intervened briefly after 30 overs with the match delicately poised at 114 for 5. At this point Dru Tunstall took control of the reins and his brilliant hard-hitting 46 no, ably supported by the solid Guy Bignell, brought us home safely with nearly 3 overs to spare. St. Lawrence were bowling well with a Kent U15 spinner causing a number of problems but Dru and Guy's unbeaten partnership of 60 in 13 overs made light work of the task and quickly eased the considerable tension felt by the watching players and spectators in the pavilion.
Promotion to Division 5 had been achieved but after-match celebrations were tempered by the knowledge that the season's efforts were not yet complete. A win next week would secure the Division 6 title, a deserved reward for leading the Division all season, but by no means a foregone conclusion.