Congresbury close in a promotion
PUBLISHED: 09:10 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 25 August 2017
One more victory from the final two matches will guarantee Congresbury promotion back to the WEPL.
An eighth-wicket stand of 79 between Sam Evans and Jos Tomlinson helped Congresbury to a vital victory over Portishead at King George V Playing Field.
Evans joined Tomlinson at the wicket with the score on just 148 for the loss off seven wickets, but some attacking yet slightly agricultural stroke play saw Congresbury post a respectable score of 227-7 off their 45 overs.
The hosts bowling then did an excellent job of containing the Portishead batsmen to bundle them out for 180.
Evans won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that had a bit of life in it, and was soon wondering if it was the correct decision when Stuart Castle was bowled with the score on 11.
However, Ian Perry (17) and Cameron Harding (44) steadied the ship to help move Congresbury in the 90s at drinks.
Unfortunately, Portishead took control after drinks, with Congresbury losing Perry and Harding in quick succession before Mike Fisher (19) Iraq Thomas (4) and Mike Brooks (5) followed soon after.
However, first team debutant Toby Lawrence (14) played a controlled innings to support Tomlinson before he was also bowled.
This brought Evans to the crease and alongside Tomlinson and the return of the Portishead openers worked in favour of the hosts with both Evans and Tomlinson unleashing an array of shots to give them a chance going into the break.
With Martin Ford unavailable and Harding only able to bowl at half-pace, the Congresbury attack looked far less potent than in recent weeks.
However, both Harding and Stephen Baker bowled with good control to put the squeeze on the Portishead batting line-up. Baker was rewarded for his nine over spell into the wind with the first wicket when Aaron Todd hit one straight to Castle at mid-off.
Brooks rolled back the years to bowl a brilliant spell of seam bowling that yielded two vital wickets, giving Congresbury the edge. However, Nigel Armstrong (54) and Michael Hooper (33) swung the momentum back in Portishead’s favour with some powerful shots.
With the score on 111-3, Evans bowled the dangerous Hooper and soon after Harding, who was now bowling off-spin, claimed two wickets in an over to firmly put the hosts back in control.
Armstrong was still looking dangerous and when he was dropped, the Congresbury players began to feel the nerves.
However, Evans claimed two more wickets and Thomas, who has had a quiet day by his standards, wrapped up the innings bowling Armstrong and Shaun Todd with two excellent slower deliveries.
Congresbury now sit 45 points clear of Frenchay with two games remaining and a win at Downend on Saturday will guarantee promotion back to the WEPL.