Heartbreak for Mundford
IT was heartbreak for Mundford when they fell 10 runs short against Division Two champions Hales and were relegated on the last day of the season.Skipper Alex Bailey said: “To be relegated on the last day of the season is hard to take but to have it happened when you are just 10 runs short is heartbreaking.
IT was heartbreak for Mundford when they fell 10 runs short against Division Two champions Hales and were relegated on the last day of the season.
Skipper Alex Bailey said: “To be relegated on the last day of the season is hard to take but to have it happened when you are just 10 runs short is heartbreaking.
“To a man we have fought and fought this season under very difficult circumstances sometimes, we must stick together as we have done this year and bounce straight back next season.
“Our team spirit has been second to none but ultimately at the big points in several games we have just come up short. I believe as a side we can compete at this level and must prove next year that we can with promotion back in the division.”
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Mundford hosted Alliance Division Two champions Hales on Saturday knowing their fate was in their hands.
A victory would guarantee safety and their place in the division next season, defeat and it would be up to Garboldisham to see if they could sneak past them on the final day of the season.
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With heavy rain the day before the toss was looking to be all important and when the experienced Hales' captain Steve Rowe called incorrectly Mundford duly inserted their lofty opponents.
Mundfords opening bowlers gave their opposite numbers nothing to score from Grady's line and bounce proving too much for the opening bats, along side him Smeed once again bowling with great accuracy and swing. Pitching the ball in the corridor just outside off stump.
Hales could not get anything from these two miserly bowlers and after 13 overs they had managed just 27 runs but importantly for the home side they had not managed a single break through. Bailey turned to spin, which was so decisive in the victory away to the visitors. This was to prove a wise move in the short term as Bailey and Leader combined to remove Rowe.
This only increased the run rate as both of Mundford's spinner bowled just one bad ball an over which was punished by the ever increasing attacking batsmen from Hales. With both of these removed it was left to the swing and seam of vice captain Allsop and Mark Phillips. Facing a short boundary on one side runs would always flow it was just a question of how many given how many wickets the visitors has in hand.
Both of The Stags bowlers picked up wickets but at a cost. Allsop going for just over four an over at the death but it was Phillips who cost more his four wickets going for nearly six an over as Mundfords fielding suffered in the last half hour of their bowling display. Hales left Mundford needing 200, not just for victory but also for safety.
Things started poorly for The Stags as Woods (4) hooked straight to square leg, Goodrham (9) edged behind and then Yates (14) miss-judged a pull all went within the first 10 overs to leave Mundford reeling.
It was left to Bailey batting in a new position of number four and young Dan White to start the rebuilding job.
White was battling through as his normal free flowing game was not in view, alongside his skipper they did manage to halt the slide and get the Mundford innings back on track, Bailey dismissing anything not on a perfect line and length.
When White went for a hard fought 18. Mundford were over half way to their target with 18 overs remaining and still six wickets left.
Stags old boy Tom Price was next to fall, this time without troubling the scorer and captain Bailey knew Mundford's hopes rested upon his shoulders and the tail.
With the pressure mounting Bailey was next to go for a career best in Alliance cricket of 62. The Stags now had to rely on the tail creeping them home. Phillips using all of his experience was happy to milk the seamers and hit out against the spin. But disaster was to strike when Phillips pulled up with Mundford on the verge of turning the game. This bought Smeed to the crease and a run out followed as Allsop went.
With just 22 runs needed for safety off four overs things were tense and when Leader went early it was left to Smeed and Phillips to try and see their side home. All credit to Phillips for batting on one leg but it proved to be too much and Mundford fell just 10 runs short of victory.
Heads would now turn to Garboldisham to see if they had managed a result and Mundfords hearts sank as they learned their rivals had managed an eight wickets victory to condemn Mundford to relegation.