Saturday XI vs Hinton Charterhouse
Hinton 274-6 45 overs
Bears 214ao 44.2 overs
Bear Flat’s survival prospects were dealt a potentially fatal blow on Saturday as they suffered a 60 run defeat at the hands of local rivals Hinton Charterhouse.
Now, with just one game remaining, Gunning’s men must take near maximum points from their clash with basement club Box and hope that Winsley inflict a similarly convincing defeat on Nationwide House, the only side that the Bears can catch.
Although Saturday’s loss was a convincing one, at least there were positives to be taken from the manner of the defeat, especially after the huge disappointment of the previous week.
Bowling first against an experienced and talented Hinton line-up, the Bears stayed disciplined and intense for 45 long overs as the home side racked up a daunting total of 274-6: Tom Baker and Henry Cheal starring with 92* and 65 respectively, whilst Shreyas Malhotra (3-65) and Mike Smyth (2-48) were the pick of the bowlers.
In response, although the Bears gradually fell behind the demanding run rate, significant contributions from Gunning (26), Rob Wilson (37), Alex Woodward (23), Sam Vesey (46*) and Mike Smyth, the latter registering his second half century of the season with an excellent 59, ensured that maximum batting points were secured, with the visitors eventually being bowled out for 214 in the final over of the innings.
So it’s onto next week and the final game of what has undoubtedly been a difficult season. Will the Bears suffer the ignominy of their first ever relegation or stage a Lazarus-like recovery? The odds are firmly stacked against them, but the indomitable Bears will keep on believing until the mathematics say otherwise.