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The seconds headed to scenic Boughton to face bottom team Horton House IV’s with the knowledge that one win from their final three games would secure promotion back to Division 10 of the NCL.
Skipper Mark won the toss, the inevitable call followed. Bowling first on an extremely grassy track with a wealth of available bowling talent was a no brainer. Although James Bushell soon gained a quick wicket the hosts started well with their second wicket pair adding 50, before James claimed the crucial wicket of the opposing captain well caught by Adam Longley. Another wicket followed (Bushell’s 20th of the season) and with the score on 74 for 2 it appeared that the hosts were intent on making the Cooks work hard for a positive result. This all changed when three wickets fell at the same score to the evergreen Syd Mason and the pacy Captain Mark. Two of the wickets courtesy of smart catches from the two James’s, Bushell (in the deep narrowly in front of the boundary) and Goodwin (neatly getting two hands diving to his right at gully).
The damage had been done, with Sid and Mark who both finished with four wickets apiece, not allowing any sort of recovery from the Horton lower order. Only 26 more runs were added to set the Cooks a modest target of 101 runs.
A picnic style tea followed in the pleasant late summer sunshine. The Cooks reply only lasted 17 overs as the batsmen led by a belligerent Jack Quennell and aided by a patient 19 from Alex Bushell coasted to a 7 wicket win.
The Cooks, who fielded a strong side, efficiently claimed the required victory to ensure a deserved promotion. All the players who have appeared for the seconds have combined well to show a great team spirit. This provided a springboard for the many great individual performances that on occasions turned likely defeat into victory.