CHARLTON DOWN 205 (20pts) beat PUDDLETOWN 99 (6pts) by 106 runs
A JUBILANT Charlton Down secured a comfortable 106-run victory over local rivals Puddletown to clinch the Division Five title and back-to-back promotions.
Going into the last game of the season only a win would do if Charlton Down wanted to claim the silverware and deny Chalke Valley who were playing at Broadstone Fourths.
The hosts lost the toss and were put in to bat against a side they had never beaten before.
However, Sam Roles and Jae Miller batted superbly and took the game to opening bowlers Adam Weir (1-47) and Josh Richardson (1-40).
The 50-run partnership came up in the eighth over before Miller (49) was brilliantly caught by veteran Barry Knight off Lucas Allen with the score on 97.
Roles (27) followed in the next over, smartly caught behind by Ollie Thompson off the impressive Mike Hoffman (3-32).
With the score on 119-2 club captain Ian Doyle, playing his last game for the club before moving away due to work commitments, was narrowly run out for six.
Hoffman then reduced the hosts to 120-5 as he dismissed Matt Stevens and Kim Park, who was unlucky to be out caught after the ball bounced off the keeper’s helmet.
The dismissal of Javed Gill for four ended a spell of six wickets for 42 runs – Charlton Down were now struggling on 139-6 in only the 24th over.
With 16 overs still remaining it was John Clancy (24) who led the recovery, helped by 16-year-old Rob Deadman (14) and James Pretty (10).
Clancy produced some delightful shots to add 24 runs in as many balls, while Deadman went for power and ran intelligently between the wickets.
On his dismissal the baton was handed to the experienced duo of Pretty and Rich Fagence who ensured the home side reached the 200 mark.
In reply, Puddletown’s innings got off to a bad start with Weir being bowled by Stevens (1-12) with an inswinging yorker with only one run on the board.
Fagence (3-29) then produced a match-winning display of controlled swing bowling.
He had the dangerous Allen brilliantly caught by the diving Miller and then tempted the hard-hitting Gurling to nibble an edge to Deadman.
Hoffman soon followed and Puddletown were struggling on 26-4 in the 10th over.
There was no let up for the Puddletown batsmen as change bowlers Park (3-24) and Pretty (1-7) bowled beautifully, leaving Puddletown reeling on 70-8.
This soon became 80-9 as Park claimed his third wicket by bowling Hargreaves for a duck.
Fittingly, it was left to Doyle to claim the last wicket and secure Charlton Down’s first weekend league title.
Skipper Pete Tucker said: “There were so many match-winning performances during the game, it seemed that each person I turned to performed.
“What a great achievement for the club and the young and older players at Charlton Down winning the league and gaining back-to-back promotions.
“It has been a pleasure and a challenge to captain the talented young players and more experienced ones throughout the season and trying to get the best out of them all.
“The club has again given the opportunity for young players to play cricket, show off their talents and enjoy the game we all love.
“A massive thank you goes out to our scorer Yvette Roles and umpire Chris Gibbons who have both turned out every week without fail, making my job so much easier.”