POTTERNE skipper Neil Clark is hoping his side now believe that they can mix it with the best teams in the West of England Premier League after their maiden National Club Championship campaign.
The Premier Two villagers claimed a memorable victory over giants Bath to set up a regional semi-final tie with Frocester but their cup-run was brought to an end on Sunday as they suffered a 19-run defeat at the hands of their Premier One opponents.
Clark hopes that Potterne have grown as a team thanks to their foray into the Club Championship and believes his side were not far away from pulling off another upset at Frocester.
“The frustrating thing is that we could have won the game – we worked really hard to bowl them out for 163 but they stuck to their plan really well and we lost wickets at crucial times,” said the Potterne captain.
“It’s our first season in the Club Championship and we’ve shown that we can be a match for any side at Premier One level, certainly in the West of England (League).
“It’s been a big learning curve playing these big sides and I think it will benefit us.”
Potterne’s Jake Roberts turned the screw on Frocester as he ended the afternoon with figures of 4-40 whilst the hosts’ Uzi Qureshi (68) and Nick Trainor (49) found their range a Frocester posted 163-8.
But Clark and opener George Charles both top-scored with just 18 as the Premier One outfit went to work with the ball, with Paul Muchall and Tom Morris claiming three wickets apiece as the visitors were all out for 144 in the 42nd over.
On Saturday, Potterne notched up a third straight league victory with a 36-run triumph over Glastonbury.
Clark led the way for his side with a knock of 64, with James Hendrickson (29) and Luke De Souza (23) chipping in, but after Glastonbury’s Ali Easton took four wickets, Potterne were skittled for 164 in little over 43 overs.
But the home bowling attack proved key, with Roberts, Ed Young and Ollie Smith all taking two apiece to see off Glastonbury’s line-up for 128 midway through the 44th over.
Goatacre captain Brad Dawson feels that Saturday’s 56-run success over Chard shows that they are not a one-man team.
The skipper led the way with the bat as he scored 64, with solid contributions from Jack Haines (49) and Giorgio Rigali (42) helping Goatacre to 249 all out.
The hosts continued to apply the pressure as Chard looked to respond but Jake Hayes’ unbeaten 28 was the visitors highest score as they were dismissed for 193.
Craig Gibbens and Connor Rafferty both claimed two wickets apiece, while some fine fielding from Ed Kilbee saw him produce a run out from a direct hit.
“It was a very good win. We were struggling a little bit at 140-5, but we dug in and I was pleased that we managed to to set them 250,” said Dawson “What pleased me the most though was the fact no-one stole the show – it was a team effort.
“Some people think if they get Ed (Kilbee) out, we won’t score any runs or if my brother Liam plays and they get him out, then we will struggle.
“We are not a one-man team and this shows it.”
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