Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian won by 19 runs

Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian completed an extraordinary turnaround in fortunes by pipping neighbours Addiscombe to promotion with a tense 19-run win in Saturday’s decider.

Only four weeks ago Mids found themselves precariously close to the relegation zone but some excellent teamwork and resolve combined with some good fortune has seen them put together four straight victories to propel them into second place.

Supporters from both clubs turned out in force at Lime Meadow and were treated to a thrilling match played in an excellent spirit for which both sides can take enormous credit.

Mids won the toss and elected to bat first but it was Addiscombe who drew first blood when Mike Brugnoli was caught and bowled off a full toss from Barry Rhodes.

Just as Richard Nowell and Richard Piggin were threatening to dominate, Nowell was out bowled by Rhodes and Mids began to struggle thereafter.

Karunanayake captured the coveted wicket of Stewart Sales who was bowled round his legs before Peter Cowlin dismissed Jonathan Wood and Christian Bond in successive balls to reduce Mids to 62 for 5.

Piggin made Addiscombe regret dropping him early in his innings as he ground out a crucial 67-run stand with Jesse James to guide Mids towards respectability.

James, who had applied himself so well, then surprisingly charged down the wicket and was bowled by Rupesh Amin.

However, Piggin continued to bat superbly in difficult circumstances and received excellent support from the tail.

He finished unbeaten on 77 and ensured that Mids closed their innings with a competitive total of 189 for 9.

Addiscombe began their reply well as Andrew Poulton and Andrew Hurrion put on 48 for the first wicket.

Poulton played some excellent shots and was the only batsman on either side to time the ball cleanly but his innings was cut short when he was given out lbw to Roberts for 33.

Hurrion and Rhodes took advantage of some rather ragged bowling to reduce the arrears further but Addiscombe suffered a set back when Hurrion fell lbw to Piper and Rhodes was caught behind off the bowling of Winter.

James then took a superb diving catch behind the stumps to dismiss Crowie second ball and reduce the visitors to 87 for 4.

Young batsman Dan Hewitt showed excellent temperament under pressure, scoring 21 in valuable stands with Richard Johnson and Steven Cox which took Addiscombe to within 50 of their target with five wickets in hand.

It took a special catch from James high above his head to dismiss Hewitt and this proved to be the turning point of the match.

The pressure proved too much for the Addiscombe tail as Cox was bowled out by Winter, Benham was snapped up by Brugnoli at slip and Karunanayake was brilliantly stumped by James.

James completed a superb performance behind the stumps by taking the final catch as Amin edged a Roberts delivery behind to spark celebrations.

Special praise should also go to Mids’ stand-out bowler Matt Winter who returned figures of 4 for 37 despite playing with a broken hand.

Certain deficiencies will need to be ironed out if Mids are to succeed at the next level and a busy winter of planning now lies ahead but they can take great encouragement from their performances in the latter part of the season.

The outcome was harsh on Addiscombe who occupied one of the top three positions for the majority of the season but they possess the quality and resources to challenge strongly again next season.