Bartlett keeps Polegate in promotion hunt

Polegate & Stone Cross CC Seconds defied the rain to beat Bells Yew Green Thirds at Wannock Road.

The victory renewed hopes of promotion to ESCL Division Eight, thanks in no small part to newcomer Dan Bartlett, on his second appearance.

Put in to bat, Polegate started solidly, with Dion Saracouli eventually out for a confident 21.

The score had reached 71 when skipper Alan Williams was dismissed for 34, off the final ball before rain took the players off for half an hour.

As soon as the weather relented, more wickets fell – before Bartlett notched up 29, staging a crucial half-century stand with Emmett Johnson, who made an excellent 19.

From 153-5, the tail again conspicuously failed to wag as Polegate folded to 155 all out in 48.2 overs.

However, that turned out to be more than enough as Polegate decided to hang on to the old ball, which Bartlett was able to swing, viciously and late.

Youngster Bradley Basham was almost equally effective at the other end and Bells Yew Green were swiftly 0-2, then 5-3, 14-4, and 34-5.

Leading the BYG resistance was the captain of the club’s first XI, in ESCL Division Two, Dominic Bowen, who had been brought in as a last-minute replacement, despite an injury.

There was little evidence of that, though, as he moved towards a half-century, on the way surviving a string of lbw appeals, and more rain interruptions.

Geoff Morley and Calum Harris claimed a wicket apiece before Barlett returned with the new ball to mop up the tail.

Bowen (52) was one of three further victims as the visitors ended on 125 all out.

Bartlett’s final figures were an astonishing 6-18, in 12.3 overs.  Basham finished with 2-15.

The icing on the cake for Polegate was that rain washed out the rest of the Division nine fixtures - so the 30 points gained sent them leaping up the table into fourth place.

Their final fixture is against the team immediately above them, Little Common Ramblers Seconds.

Polegate now need a handsome victory to overtake them, and claim promotion.