Wonderful WGC seal a Herts Premier play-off title treble!
PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 September 2018
Welwyn Garden City completed a superb hat-trick of play-off titles as they beat regular season champions Totteridge Millhillians in the Saracens Herts Premier League showpiece with plenty of time to spare at the weekend, writes Lee Power.
After winning the toss, WGC put their rivals into bat under sunny skies, but on a hard pitch, in the hope of restricting them with their spin attack.
But although TM captain Ben Howgego was caught by James Hewitt off the bowling of Connor Emerton in the sixth over, the move looked to have backfired as the home side’s total reached 86 in 12 overs.
The tide turned, though, when Shay Emerton produced a superb throw from the deep to run out Jonathan Miles (42), with WGC then taking a grip on proceedings.
Adam Rossington (37) was well stumped by Daniel Blacktopp off Matthew Grant (3-29), who combined with James Southgate (3-41) to take out the middle order and leave TMCC 142-6 with 20 overs left.
Simon Webster (36) and Matt Fletcher (20) put on 48 for the eighth wicket, but WGC’s bowlers worked well to dismiss their rivals for 208 in the 47th over, as Simon Bridgewater (2-30) nabbed a brace.
WGC had won their league meeting in July by a resounding 204-run margin, only to finish the season in third place, but saw opening duo Louis Champion and Alex Chalker produce a superb start as they chased play-off glory, with their best-ever first-wicket partnership.
Hitting the ball to all parts of the ground, they took the TMCC attack apart and had put on 160 in just 23 overs, when Champion was caught by Shaun O’Brien off Webster and fell three runs short of a deserved half-century.
Blacktopp then departed for a second-ball duck, but Chalker continued the all-out attack, hitting seven sixes and 14 fours in a man-of-the-match display before finally succumbing for an outstanding 126 off just 92 balls, caught by Webster off the bowling of Iresh Saxena.
And WGC went on to complete a seven-wicket win with 17 overs in hand, with Owais Shah and Southgate at the crease, before captain Andrew Nolan received the play-off trophy from England one-day captain Eoin Morgan and the celebrations began.