Cleethorpes Cricket Club were hanging onto their membership of the 4 Probate & Wills ECB Yorkshire South Premier League by their fingertips following a 4 run victory over Elsecar on Saturday.
In a dramatic finish Cleethorpes claimed 5 wickets for just 30 runs with the final two falling to consecutive deliveries from the last two balls in the 47th over bowled by Alex Osmond. This completed a fine spell of spin bowling which gave Osmond a return of 4-37 from his 13 overs. He was given support by Joe Baker who started the visitors decline by taking 3-23 from 15 accurate overs.
Batting first Cleethorpes made their now renowned start by losing 2 wickets for just 23. They were indebted to Callum Carter who again displayed determination as he went onto complete a maiden Yorkshire League half century. After opening the batting he was eventually 5th out with the total on 96 but his half century (with six fours) had prevented the Cleethorpes innings collapsing.
After his departure only Jack Wilson (15) and Joe Baker (20 not out) were able to boost the total which reached 136 before the last wicket fell.
When Elsecar began their reply they lost Matthew Higgins with only 2 runs on the board when Harry Costello, restored to opening the attack, had him caught by Louis Kimber.
Overseas player Muhammad Saeed Answar, the visitors top scorer, hit a couple of sixes before when trying to make it a hat trick of maximums he was caught and bowled by Lee Charlton. Six runs later Charlton struck for a second time thanks to a stunning catch by Kimber which accounted for Ian Swallow.
Alex Osmond claimed the 4th wicket before a defiant partnership developed between opening batsman Paul Cummins and Tanzil Ali. These two were to take the score beyond 100 with Ali displaying aggression by striking two sixes.
Acting Captain Bill Kirby brought Baker back into the attack at the Daggett Road end and it proved a master stroke. With the total on 102 he had Ali caught by Kimber and then claiming the scalp of Jason Meadows, thanks to a fine diving catch by wicket keeper Tom Rollinson.
The Meggies now had a scent of victory as Alex Osmond was brought back into the attack and this proved decisive as Callum Higgins became an early leg before victim. Baker then upset Peter Selkirks wickets and 4 wickets had fallen for 4 runs.
Baker had completed his allowed 15 overs and with Cummins still there and Saqib Hussain looking secure the visitors slowly zoomed in on their target.They managed to get within 5 runs of victory before Osmond brought the innings to a close. His 5th ball of the 46th over saw him account for Hussain, then next ball clean bowl Muhammed Ilyas to crown an incredible victory.
Although he Cleethorpes side gained a maximum 12 points they remain in the relegation spots, 2 points adrift of Wickersley and 6 points behind Hallam. It will all be resolved next Saturday when Cleethorpes travel to Wakefield while Wickersley visit second placed Treeton and Hallam travel to meet crowned Champions Doncaster Town.
Pictures above taken from Cleethorpes victory over Elsecar show match winners Alex Osmond and Joe Baker bowling and Callum Carter who hit his maiden half century