THE BAR at Potterne Cricket Club was in desperate need of a re-stock after the villagers’ stunning victory over eight-time West of England Premier League champions Bath on Sunday.
Potterne, who are competing in the Premier Two Division for the first time in their history, claimed the scalp of the reigning Premier One winners with a memorable seven-wicket triumph in the regional quarter-finals of the ECB National Club Championship.
Chairman Fred Kerley was blown away by his team’s sublime victory, admitting he was as shocked as anyone to see Potterne prevail at the Grove.
“Now that we’re a Premier side, we decided to enter the club championship this year for a bit of experience and we got a walkover in the first round because Frome couldn’t raise a side,’’ said Kerley.
“When we found out we had to play Bath, we thought that would be the end of it, but the performance on Sunday was amazing. It’s a fairytale.
“I was cheering every run and every wicket that we took. Bath are probably one of the top ten sides in the country at Premier League level and I remember back when we would be delighted about beating Devizes, Swindon or Trowbridge.
“They were really gracious and wished us the best of luck in the next round.
“I know that a lot of people at the club consider the win over Lechlade that got us promoted last year to be our biggest-ever win but I’m happy to be shot down in flames and say that this was right up there.
“We had great support , the bar was drunk dry – there wasn’t a single beer left at the end of the day.”
Luke De Souza (71) and Ed Young (55) eased Potterne to 155-3 in little more than 27 overs after Dylan Higgins (3-16) and Josh De Souza (2-28) had helped dismiss Bath for 153 in the 44th over.
The hosts were also without captain Neil Clark, who was busy helping Wiltshire earn a third straight Unicorns Knockout Trophy win with fellow Potterne man Jake Roberts.
“I rang Fred as soon as we were finished at our game down in Dorset and he told me that we’d won – it’s unbelievable,” said skipper Clark.
“Without being big-headed, they were without me, Jake and our overseas player Sahan (Wijerathne), so that shows just how good a performance it was. Jake and I rushed back as quickly as we could to join in with the celebrations.”
Potterne travel to Premier One Frocester in the group nine semi-final on Sunday, June 1.
FOR MORE SPORTS NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport