LECHLADE are looking forward to launching an assault on the second tier of the West of England Premier League for the first time in their history next summer after securing the Glos/Wilts Division.
Joe Breet’s side will ply their trade in Premier Two for the first-time in their 128-year history after a 56-run victory over Warminster on Saturday rubber-stamped top spot in the Glos/Wilts Division with a game to spare.
Last weekend’s success is a second promotion in three seasons for the Faringdon Road men, who were also crowned champions of the Wiltshire Division in 2012.
Lechlade player-coach Luke Sellers said: “It’s been an amazing last three years for the club, with two promotions and a county cup win in that time, and I and the lads are very much looking forward to next year’s challenge in the Premier Divisions.
“Sam (Burdock) and Paul (Godding) got us off to another great start and Brad (Dial), Joe and Oli (Thornley) built and finished it off very nicely with the bat. We then knuckled down with the ball, with Brad and Asanka (Vithanage) setting it up nicely for me to finish it off at the end.”
Lechlade set their hosts a target of 294 to win after openers Burdock and Godding put together their third influential partnership in as many games to get the hosts off to another firm start. The pair had taken the score to 67 when Godding was dismissed for 36 in the 18th over.
He was replaced by Dial, who along with Burdock, added another 88 before the latter was stumped for 71.
Dial and Breet then accelerated the run rate, with the home skipper scoring his 43 off 26 balls, with his innings including two huge sixes before being caught in the deep.
Dial went 70 whilst Thornley finished off the innings with a quick-fire unbeaten 35 as Lechlade closed on 293-8.
Lechlade took to the field with their tails up and Michael Craigs had Tom Weaver caught by Burdock behind the stumps for 15 in his third over of the day.
Warminster’s Tom Davie (41) and Pete Hickerton (40) then put together a 70-run second wicket partnership, and this was followed by a 55-run partnership between Hickerton and Desmond Kruger (57) to take the visitors score to 152-3 in the 33rd over.
But Lechlade had introduced the spin duo of Vithanage and Dial to the attack and once Dial had taken the wicket of Hickerton, the league leaders squeezed the trigger and the bowling pair dismissed the Warminster middle order for 73 runs, with Dial taking three wickets and Vithanage two.
Then, in a blistering spell, Sellers took the final three wickets in a seven-ball spell to dismiss the Warminster for 237 and begin the Lechlade party.
Skipper Breet added: “I think it’s fair to say that we have been the best team this year and with an 85% win rate in the league, I don’t think anyone would say otherwise.”