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Wargrave CC hold off title rivals to claim third consecutive promotion

Michael Holder

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Wargrave completed their third consecutive promotion on Saturday, securing their elevation to Home Counties League Cricket with victory over Falkland.

Skipper Neal Robinson knew the pressure was on his side heading into the final weekend, with rivals North Maidenhead nipping at their heels.

But an impressive batting display, which saw them put on 282-9 in 50 overs, quickly settled any pre-match nerves and Falkland came up 58 runs short in their reply.

Robinson admitted afterwards it was a strange and surreal feeling knowing they’d got the job done with around 15 overs left to play. Maids finished four points adrift of the leaders after beating Slough 2nds by five wickets on the final day.

“I knew the game was done with 15 overs to spare which was quite surreal. To know you’d done the job before the game was finished was a weird feeling.”

Mark Firth was the mainstay of Wargrave’s innings, making 77 before being bowled by Tom Ettridge (2-33) while Sagar Chhabria disrupted their top order, taking 3-35, including the wickets of Mandip Sohi (49) and Michael Holder (24).

Jack Clark removed David Bloor for a duck as Falkland’s reply got off to a rocky start and, although Sam Trumper (38) and James Lauder (43) scored well, they never looked like challenging Wargrave’s total.

“I think we won 10 of our last 12 games, and won a lot of our timed games as well, which helped us pick up decent points,” added Robinson.

“Beating North Maidenhead was probably the turning point because they were dominating at the time. The Boyne Hill win was also a key result. They’re both good sides and those games were played in the right spirit.

“They (North Maids) were the first side to congratulate us and next season I hope that we can stay up and they can join us. We’ve been promoted three times in a row now and we always look to improve by 10/20 per cent. Next season we’ll be aiming to finish eighth.

“That’s been the aim for each of the last three seasons and we’ve always done alright.”

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