CRICKET: Goatacre near safety after win over Chard

Goatacre’s Ed Wilkins made 38 as his side beat Chard to almost guarantee their Premier Two spot next season

Goatacre’s Ed Wilkins made 38 as his side beat Chard to almost guarantee their Premier Two spot next season

First published in Sport

GOATACRE opener Ed Wilkins feels one more victory, against Minehead this weekend, should be enough to keep his side safe in WEPL Premier Two after their latest win against Chard.

Following their impressive success against promotion-chasing Clevedon seven days previously, Goatacre edged to a four-wicket win in Somerset, with Ed Kilbee returned to the side with a bang.

Wiltshire left-hander Kilbee struck an unbeaten 82 from 70 balls to push the Goats over the line, as they chased down Chard’s 233-6 with four wickets and four overs to spare to move 40 points clear of the relegation places.

For Wilkins, who made 38 at the top of the order, that’s left Goatacre with a pretty simply task in front of them if they want to all but guarantee survival.

He said: “We’ve got Minehead on Saturday and we’re 40 points clear of them and they’re second bottom. If we can beat them, with Glastonbury looking miles behind, I think that will be us safe.

“That’d be good because two weeks ago we looked like we were struggling. To go down to Clevedon and win there and follow that up with the win on Saturday was pretty good. If we can finish it off this Saturday that should be us safe.”

Wilkins paid specific tribute to Kilbee, who made an immediate and important impact on his comeback, saying: “It was a massive difference having him in there. He normally opens but because Jack and I have been doing alright together opening, he’s come in three and Saturday he just didn’t look like getting out. You always felt confident having him in there. It was good having him back.

“If they’d beaten us they’d be ahead of us and it was good to go down there and win, especially after losing the toss. It usually goes a bit lot down there in the second innings so we were a bit concerned, thinking we have to keep them under 200.

“The way it panned out, though, the outfield was quick and the track wasn’t too bad. A 230 was about par.”

Elsewhere, Potterne kept the heat on second-placed Clevedon by thrashing bottom-of-the-table Glastonbury, with Josh De Souza (3-14), Jake Roberts (3-17) and Dylan Higgins (3-20) all filling their boots as the Somerset hosts were dismissed for a lowly 93, midway through the 29th over.

Neil Clark’s side then eased to 96-2 in less than 19 overs, with Sahan Wijerathne (35 not out) and Ed Young (34 not out) finishing things off.

MORE SPORTS NEWS, PICTURES AND REACTION IN THIS THURSDAY’S GAZETTE AND HERALD. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport

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