Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Wilkins glad to shrug off 'one-man team' tag
ED Wilkins is delighted Goatacre have shrugged off the “one-man team” tag labelled against them earlier this term as their renaissance in the second half of the season continues.
The Premier Two outfit beat Cheltenham by one wicket with one ball to spare on Saturday to consolidate fourth spot and secure a sixth successive win from completed matches, all but one of which have come without Ed Kilbee following the opening batsman’s defection to Birmingham League side Cannock.
Previously, Kilbee’s runs at the top of the order had been so consistently important to Goatacre’s success that some teams felt his departure would have a serious knock-on effect on the Goats’ campaign.
However, Wilkins & Co have turned around a season that started as a relegation dogfight and now, albeit requiring a minor miracle, could end in promotion.
Wilkins told the Advertiser: “Jack (Haines) had 85 the week before so it’s nice for more of us to be contributing some big scores.
“I think Jack and I have both had five 50s in the league now and George Rigali is chipping in with a few as well.
“It’s nice to prove we’re not a one-man team, which I think a lot of teams thought we were.
“I think we’ve played five league games without him this year and won all five. I was chatting to the Cheltenham captain after the game and he said that once he saw Kilbs had left he thought we’d struggle.
“It’s nice to prove these teams wrong as well, really.”
Wilkins’ 90 in a successful chase of 241 on Saturday was the highest individual score made by any Goatacre player, with the exception of Kilbee this season.
“I had a couple of 50s to start with and then had a bit of a dip but I’ve managed to come back in the last four or five games,” said Wilkins. “I had a really rubbish year in the league last year - I didn’t manage to get one 50 - so to get five is good. It’s just a shame I couldn’t go on and get a ton on Saturday.
“It was a really good batting track and though they got 240 we always thought we were in the game at tea time, because it was one of the best tracks we’ve played on this year.
“It was about getting a good start, which Jack and I managed to do. Jack got 60 and I got 90 in the end.
“It would have been nice to go on and get a hundred but that start put us in the driving seat.
“It was always going to get more difficult when the spinners came on in the middle and applied pressure but we had the platform to let us see it through.”
Goatacre are unlikely to be able to overtake Thornbury or Taunton Deane above them, with 25 points separating the Goats in fourth and the promotion places and just two games remaining.
However, Wilkins feels his side should still be pleased with where they look like ending up this year.
“With Thornbury winning and Taunton beating Weston on Saturday it’s made it pretty hard for us now,” he said.
“But if we can win our last two we’ve got a chance of finishing third again, which to do two years on the trot in our first two years at this standard is pretty good really - especially where we were midway through the season.
“When we beat Cheltenham I think that made it won two,lost six. Now we’re won eight, lost six - it’s a pretty good turnaround, going the whole of the second half of the season unbeaten.”
Comments are closed on this article.