WIMBORNE & COLEHILL III 104 (1pt) lost to CHARLTON DOWN 105-0 (20pts) by 10 wickets

CHARLTON Down sealed the County Division Three title in emphatic style with a crushing 10-wicket victory away to a depleted Wimborne & Colehill Thirds.

Down’s 12th win from 15 games, with three rain cancellations, secures their promotion to Division Two with three games remaining, after nearest rivals Sturminster Marshall lost to bottom side Poole Town Thirds by nine wickets.

Wimborne batted first and found the accurate bowling of Matt and Dan Stevens hard to score from.

Dan (2-8) struck first bowling Fred Pennell (5) with in-seam, while Matt (2-25) bowled Rob Pilato (6) and Adrian Prince (2) as Wimborne were reduced to 21-3.

A double change of bowling saw double success with left-armer Mark Homewood (1-12) trapping Charles Pilato (4) leg before with a beautiful inswinging yorker.

Spinner Kim Park (1-6) then profited from wicketkeeper Rob Deadman’s sharp catch behind to dismiss Harry Pengelley (4) to wobble the hosts on 42-5.

And Javed Gill produced a devastating spell of 4-18 as Wimborne and Colehill crumbled to 64-9 off 37 overs.

In a stout rearguard action, the final pairing of Adrian Loader (18no) and captain Tim Bartlett added 40 quick runs.

Bartlett’s sterling innings of 32 in 96 balls came to an end when the returning Dan Stevens bowled him to help dismiss Wimborne for 104.

In reply, Jae Miller and Nick Voss looked confident and took no pity on some short and wayward bowling.

Down’s fifty came up in the tenth over with a lovely straight four by Miller back over the bowler’s head.

Miller was particularly ruthless, hitting seven fours in his run-a-ball unbeaten 60.

Voss (25no) played the anchor role and helped ease his team to victory in the 21st over to clinch a fifth consecutive promotion.

After the game, captain Pete Tucker felt the club’s achievement was “incredible”.

He said: “To gain promotion for the fifth consecutive year, and as champions four times, is a great feat by any club but for a small village like Charlton Down it’s incredible, whatever standard you play in.

“A good mixture of youth and experience is the key, playing cricket hard but most importantly to enjoy, have some fun and giving the young lads a chance to perform at a standard where they will hone their cricketing skills for their challenges ahead.

“Drip feeding the club’s emerging new youth players into the Saturday team, coming through from the small but ever growing youth system, will be the challenge over the next few years.”

Charlton Down can earn win number 13 of a highly-impressive season when they face Dorset Indian Tigers at the Herrison Oval on Saturday.