by Jim Sumner
SHIPLEY Hall produced their best performance of a fluctuating, topsy turvy season as they claimed victory over South Wingfield in a nerve-jangling climax on Saturday.
They won the match on the seventh and final bal of the last over, giving them the vital 27 points to help improve their chances of avoiding the drop.
South Wingfield won the toss and asked Shipley to bat first, a ploy which back-fired completely as Mark Starr and Stef Gamble cut loose from the word go and between them raced to over 100 in the first 16 overs.
When Starr was out for a quickfire 53, including seven fours and three sixes, Gamble carried on the good work, hitting eight fours in a commendable 64 before being caught by Mark Dance.
If the South Wingfield bowlers thought there might be some respite after this, they were soon proved wrong when Danny Hanson (41) and James Cokayne (76) carted the bowling all over the field, scoring flurries of fours and sixes over after over.
Tom Starr joined in the fun briefly when he hit four fours and a six in his 28, as Shipey finished their innings on 307 for 8.
For South Wingfield, Richard Briggs took four wickets, Adam Young two and Gary Coxhead one.
When Shipley took to the field their opening bowlers were determined to show they could assert their authority, and this they did in no uncertain manner.
Graham Farnsworth and Tom Starr ripped through the early batting, taking two wickets each in a fine spell, and then Danny Hanson and James Cokayne carried on the good work.
Ryan North took three catches close in and wicket-keeper Martin Starr a brilliant left-handed catch to dismiss top scorer Robert Smith.
However, time was passing and South Wingfield had the shutters up. Farnsworth and Hanson grabbed further wickets and with the last over to go, Shipley still needed two wickets to win the match outright.
Cokayne was to bowl the final over and he took a wicket first ball, caught by North, as Shipley went in for the kill.
But five more balls, including a wide, proved fruitless, and it was down to the final delivery.
There was complete silence as Cokayne bowled, eventually broken by the ball hitting Coxhead’s pads and the umpire raised his finger slowly at the loud appeal and Shipley had won the match.