AFTER a disappointing loss the previous week against Old Bar 2 Wingham's third grade cricket team dropped from second place to fifth and was relegated to the qualifying final for fourth grade. But what a difference a week made, with Wingham once again facing Old Bar 2, this time at Central Park.
Wingham once again got off to a shaky start but solid contributions from Gary Creighton with 20, captain Leigh Niven (23) and Josh Essery helped the side to 6/103 from the first 27 overs. Paul Kelly (64) and Mark Thompson then combined for an exceptional 88 run seventh wicket partnership. Kelly was brutal, despatching 11 fours and one six to the boundary, while Thompson stylishly made 43. Wingham completed their innings with a competitive 8/214
A strong bowling and fielding effort was required to stave off the strong Old Bar 2 batting line up, and Bruce Bird did not disappoint, bowling eight consecutive overs up the hill to finish with 3/19. Shane Manny (2/16) took two crucial wickets in his opening over having Simon Eggins well caught by Gary Creighton at first slip and the dangerous Shaun Chapman brilliantly caught behind by keeper Darryl Johnson. Wingham were tremendous in the field with skipper Niven leading the way with four spectacular catches. Faron Saxby (3/21) once again bowled well removing Old Bar 2's top scorer Aaron Watson for 30 and the busy Kiah McSkimming for 23. After being dismissed for 68 a week earlier, Wingham had completely turned the tables bowling Old Bar 2 out for just 93 inside 27 overs. John Delaney capped off a terrific team effort, taking the final wicket of the day with a plumb LBW of Old Bar co-captain Tony Nicholls.
Wingham now progress to the fourth grade grand final in a fortnight.