Saturday 1st September 2012. A day that will forever go down in club history.
Leading the league by 16 points going into yesterdays match, Adam Howorth’s side knew that if they secured victory from the penultimate game of this memorable season, the championship would be ours. The venue, Corfton Road. The opposition, Ealing, the reigning 7-times champions.
Ealing won the toss and decided to bowl first and off the back of good innings from David Alleyne (49) and Josh Davey (41), the Hill posted 182 all out, a solid total but perhaps a little under par. As the E Men came out to reply, the Hill knew that nothing but a top performance in the field would do.
3rd ball. Middlesex tyro Oli Wilkin facing. League leading wicket taker Jamie Thorpe the bowler. Inswinging delivery, raps the right hander on the pads, bang in front. The umpire raises the dreaded finger. Ealing 0-1. The perfect start for the Hill.
What followed in that 1st hour of the Ealing innings was the stuff of dreams. A culmination of precise bowling, expert fielding, supreme intensity that have been the hallmark of this seasons efforts came to the fore once again as Thorpe (5-47) and Tom Kopleman (3-39) ripped through the top order of the champions to reduce them to 61-8. A nervous hour then followed as numbers 9 Ashok and 10 Landman put on a backs to the wall partnership of 80 that had all Hill players and supporters biting their fingernails and Ealing sensed an unlikely victory.
However this was not to be a great escape for the E Men, as Davey bowled an absolute jaffer to remove Landman and then induced the edge off number 11 Podmore to the grateful hands of Scott Newman at slip who held on after a brief juggle to send the Hill into raptures.
The poetry of winning the league at Corfton Road was not lost on anyone as the League trophy was handed over there and then and champagne flowed long into the night back at The Paulin Ground. Massive respect and thanks goes out to Ealing Cricket Club for their gracious attitude and warm congratulations after the match. They have been champions in every sense of the word.
Congratulations to Adam Howorth and the whole team throughout the season for a terrific achievement as we bask in the glory of our first ever Middlesex Championship. Everybody in the squad has played their part when required this year and the championship is rich reward for their combined efforts. There are going to be some seriously heavy heads this morning!
For Hill supporters young, old, past and present, yesterday was a memorable day and the club thank everyone for their support. This has been a long time coming and now this has to be a stepping stone to go on to greater things.
Winchmore Hill Cricket Club. Middlesex League Champions 2012…it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
For a full match scorecard, click here – http://winchmorehill.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11392698
For the Middlesex League table click here – http://www.middlesexccl.com/
Photos from a momentous day are available to view in the Gallery page
Whilst the video of the last 3 balls of Ealing’s innings can be seen here : http://youtu.be/atqWQc-ay-g