High flying Bramhall were brought down to earth with a spectacular bump on Saturday, losing by 9 wickets to lowly Romiley in farcical circumstances.
Nick Cantello opted to bat first on winning the toss on a warm, sunny day at Church Lane, hoping for a repeat of his side’s last four dominant league and cup performances which have all seen his side victorious by over 100 runs.
Romiley were yet to win before this weekend, in their first season in division one, and their spirited opening attack were keen to show their worth against their top of the table opposition. They were soon into their stride, and Bramhall were floundering on 14 for 3 after Wilde, Kett and Hunt were all blown away in the first 5 overs.
A mini recovery of sorts was initiated by the doughty Cantello, but his team were unable to stay with him, as 30 for 3 soon became 47 for 7 before drinks. The captain was then caught trying to up the ante for 22, and when Davenport fell second ball, it was left to Simon Wilkinson and Luke Littlewood to eke as much as they could out of the remaining overs.
Wilkinson briefly counter attacked, but was too ambitious in attempting to hit Garner out of the ground and was stumped for 20, leaving Bramhall all out for a disastrous 75.
Romiley approached their run chase with understandable caution given their position in the table, and although Bramhall bowled with discipline, they were unable to tempt their visitors into anything risky. Matt Higginbottom took the only wicket to fall, and Romiley sauntered home by 9 wickets in 30 overs.
It was a scarcely believable result when considering the team’s respective league positions, but Romiley were far superior in every department on the day, and Bramhall’s players were left to rue their worst performance for a very long time.
This result should serve as a wake up call, with the last game of the first half of the season coming up next week away at second place Bowdon. Other results around the division were not too damaging for Bramhall, meaning that although they slip to third as a consequence of a zero-point return, they are only 2 points behind Oxton who return to the top.
Cantello will be eager to put this result behind him, and hope his batsmen can find greater consistency in the second half of the season, which will be vital if they are going to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League.