After maximum points wins for both Ellingham & Bashley B last weekend Sway A needed a challenging 19 points from their final match to achieve their 2nd consecutive promotion, this time to the 1st Division containing all the indoor big boys.
Skipper Squeak was nervously absent so FJ took on the mantle of leadership, borrowed a coin, lost the toss & was asked to field. So with just 12pts for a win they needed to take plenty of wickets & then chase down the total without losing too many of their own.
The good news was that Branksome were a player short, the bad news was that despite a good opening over from FJ Charton (3-0-26-0) the opening pair of Barnard (56) & Hardy (44) went off like a train with Hardy retiring in just the 3rd over with 35 on the board. The introduction of Josh Bailey (3-1-22-1) in the 4th over stemmed the flow as just 4 runs & a wicket bowled in his 1st over were followed by a maiden 2nd over. The Branksome middle order were then blown away as Jon Waller (3-0-34-1), coming back strongly after an expensive 1st over, & Dan Bailey (3-0-29-1) both hit the stumps to reduce them to 58-3 in the 8th over. Sadly that just reunited the openers & despite Josh smartly running out the free-hitting Hardy in the following over, Barnard stuck around to put on 45 runs as last man standing until he was run out off the last ball with the score on 125.
Importantly Sway had bagged a maximum 6 bowling points, so the equation was simplified to scoring 126 for the loss of less than 5 wickets.
The chase didn't start too well as the usually reliable Will Millard was bowled round his legs for 1 with the last ball of the tight 1st over from Barnard. At the other end Dan Bailey (28 n.o.) settled Sway nerves and struck a couple of trademark maximums before retiring in the 3rd over to be replaced by brother Josh (28 n.o.) who continued the same brutal treatment. Dan Stevenson (6) was bowled to make it 51-2, but after Josh retired Jon Waller (19 n.o.) & skipper FJ Charton (27 n.o.) steered the Sway ship safely home in the 11th over, bagging 4 batting points & giving them a total of 22 points & a very well-deserved 2nd place in Div 2 & promotion to the top Dorset indoor level....... bring it on!!