STONELEIGH 212 for 3
TGCC 192 all out
Stoneleigh win by 20 runs
A collapse of epic proportions saw Grafton throw away what would have been a quite remarkable last game victory to ensure their safety in Division 2 for next season. However, despite losing 10 wickets for 29 runs, they were saved from the spectre of relegation by Badsey’s zero point defeat against Woodbourne which saw them drop from 6th in the table to 9th over the course of the afternoon.
Fielding 10 men for the third time this season, including debutant Glyn Hughes, the returning Steve Burgoine and the big greek Alex Hopkins; Grafton lost the toss and were asked to bowl by home skipper Paul Lazenby. Dropped at square leg in the opening over, Lazenby was unusually positive in his innings, hitting Grafton skipper Liam Killian for six over mid wicket before falling lbw to Matt Harvey for 36. Stoneleigh were indebted to their #3 James Chapman for a well paced 116* and a slightly more aggressive innings of 42 from Will Thomas. At the end of the 45 overs, their total of 212, whilst limiting Grafton’s bowling points, did look a little short of par.
In reply Simon Kirk and Liam Killian were imperious. Batting patiently, but with their usual strokeplay not hindered, the pair advanced steadily to put on an opening stand of 163. Word had arrived of Badsey’s defeat just after tea, so the third batting point achieved at 150 would be sufficient for Grafton to be safe. Not to worry we need 50 runs with 9 wickets in hand, easy win from here.
It took the introduction of Lazenby to the attack; having jettisoned the keeping kit to break the partnership, and ultimately to change the game. Killian out caught at deep midwicket for 84, Kirk followed the next over caught at long on for 64. From here it was a procession of poor shots and good catching as Grafton fell apart in a way only they seem to manage. Johnston made 6, Harvey 5 and Hopkins finished on 7* with everyone else registering a massive quacker.
So. On to the winter and preparation for 2019.