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CRICKET: Skipper stunned by Goatacre progress
GOATACRE skipper Craig Gibbens is finding it difficult to comprehend the heights his side are hitting as they pursue serious silverware ambitions on two fronts.
Another red-letter weekend in the village club’s history saw them defeat county rivals Warminster to maintain their challenge for a third successive league promotion before Hampshire’s Paultons were sent packing in the last 16 of the Yorkshire Tea Village Cup 24 hours later.
Gibbens said: “We’re on a bit of a roll and it’s astonishing really. In all honesty, we’ve got no right to be doing what we’re doing. “We’re punching seriously above our weight.’’
Goatacre remain just behind leaders Ashcott & Shapwick in the Premier Two table but occupy a promotion position after gaining revenge on hosts Warminster – the only side to have beaten them in the league this year.
Matthew House bagged 3-31 and Gibbens, Brad Dawson and Jif Wilkins two victims each as Warminster were bowled out for 181.
Gloucestershire’s Will Gidman, enjoying a rare outing, then hit 40, opener Ed Kilbee 44 and Dawson 42 as Goatacre raced home inside 31 overs.
Gibbens said: “We feel as though if we play to our potential in the league, we will win. Will (Gidman) came in and made a great contribution. Gloucestershire very kindly said he could play as a batter and we’re hoping he might again this weekend.’’
Sunday’s cup win – a match sponsored by the Gazette & Herald was set up by Wilkins’ 5-33 – earning him the star man of the round nomination from the sponsors – as Paultons were dismissed for 163 in 40 overs.
Openers Ed Wilkins (38) and Nick Pocock (23) moved the reply along and, despite two quick wickets, Dawson’s unbeaten 35 and 42 from Jack Haines got the job done in 22 overs to set up a last-eight home clash with Berkshire’s Wraysbury on Sunday.
Gibbens said: “We played really well. Jif bowled brilliantly and Brad and Jack batted really well to take us on.
“We had a big crowd there and were really pleased with everything about the day. We don’t know much about Wraysbury, but we won’t be looking to change anything.’’
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