POTTERNE chairman Fred Kerley thinks that his side’s chances of clinching the Premier Two crown are in their own hands after last weekend’s crucial victory over title rivals Clevedon.
Sahan Wijerathne’s scorching knock of 147 helped the villagers see off their North Somerset opponents by 84 runs at the Grove last weekend.
Potterne are now just a point behind Ilminster, who slipped to defeat at Cheltenham on Saturday, and will go out looking to make another huge stride towards promotion when they travel to the league leaders on Saturday.
“Last weekend was probably even more important than this weekend – if we’d lost, Clevedon could have gone clear by quite a bit and we’d have been lagging behind,” said Kerley, who is also Potterne’s team manager.
“We knew that we just had to win that game and now it’s in our hands. If we can beat Ilminster this weekend, we’ll be in pole position with two weeks to go, and Clevedon and Ilminster have also still got to play each other too.
“It was an absolutely brilliant performance by Sahan and Luke De Souza was brilliant with the bat too – 317 was a great score to get.
“Jake Roberts taking two wickets in an over then just knocked the stuffing out of them. It was a great performance in a really important game.”
After being put in to bat after losing the toss, Wijerathne fired Potterne into control as he hit 16 fours and seven sixes as part of his hefty unbeaten total, which came from 131 balls.
Opener Luke De Souza also weighed in with 85 as the hosts posted 317-4 from a rain-reduced 48 overs.
Jake Roberts, who ended the afternoon with figures of 4-44, claimed two early wickets to pile the pressure on Clevedon.
The visitors’ Jacob Lintott (53) attempted to launch a fightback but his side were skittled for 233 midway through the penultimate over.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Goatacre as they suffered a four-wicket loss at Keynsham.
Ed Kilbee (108) hit a century for Brad Dawson’s visitors, who posted 256-6 but as the rain took hold of proceedings, Keynsham were set a reduced target of 231 from 45 overs.
Skipper Dawson took three wickets but Daniel Jarman (54), Russ Wakefield (46) and Tom Bancroft (37) all chipped in to help the home side reach 233-6 in the 43rd over.
MORE SPORTS NEWS, PICTURES AND REACTION IN THIS THURSDAY'S GAZETTE AND HERALD. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport