The 3’s entered their final day showdown against Geddington knowing that a win would secure promotion to the NCL Division 3. With stand in skipper Wilkins deputising for absent svengali Greenhalgh, it was Chris Hill who went out for the toss, lost it, and then advised the opposition that they should bat!
A fairly pedestrian few hours followed with some economical, but unthreatening seam bowling managing to keep the lid on a scoring rate which was not in keeping with the usual free flowing scoring that is the norm on the bottom pitch.
The introduction of Ben Lodge improved the penetration of the home attack as he returned figures of 3/24 from a fine spell, as he continued his great end of season performances. He was well backed up at the other end by Harrison Norton who bowled a great spell of pace, coupled with great intelligence.
Geddington finally ended their innings on 148/6 from their full allocation of 50 overs.
Any feelings that the game was in the bag at half time were quickly quashed as the boys slumped to 33/4, with WIlkins, Henry Simpson, Loz Joel and John Pounds all back in the pavilion.
You could not help but think back to the game earlier in the season against Bowden…..surely we would not implode on today of all days?
Such moments call for character, and we found it in the form of Chris Hill and Harrison Norton. In spite of there being nearly 60 years age difference between the 2, they found a determination and resolve to initially rebuild the innings and see off the opening bowlers.
Gradually they picked up the scoring rate and eventually the nerves started to become less frayed as boundaries started to flow…and it seemed that the Cinderella’s would be going to the ball after all.
Chilli went to 50, and was soon followed by young Harrison who finished the game with 2 successive boundaries to bring up his maiden 3rd team half century and cap a fine individual performance.
A partnership of 112 for the 5th wicket showed that there is grit and determination to go with the great talent in the ‘greeno and gold army’.
Having secured promotion, word started to circulate that nearest rivals Bowden and Old Northamptonians were both in trouble. Shortly after the game it was confirmed that both had lost and that we were champions by the margin of 2 points! A fantastic achievement by everyone who has played for the 3’s this season…. a run in of 8 wins and a winning draw from their final 9 games is some achievement and they timed it to perfection!