The Tandoori Boys claimed the Riverside Indoor League Division 2 title in bizarre circumstances on Sunday evening after a tense encounter with Galleywood.
The Upminster side knew a victory would keep up their 100% record in the second stage of the competition and secure the championship, but knew a defeat would need them relying on the bonus point situation to finish top. Upminster started well as Ryan Brown dismissed the dangerous Nick Clayden for just six, but from that point Galleywood took control as Upminster’s bowling and fielding was unusually poor. Zak Hicks and Matthew Cockrell both made significant contributions as their side finished on 85-3 (giving Upminster two bonus points at that stage).
Captain Billy Wright fell early in the Tandoori Boys reply, but Ian Munn and Sam Twine rebuilt, although they found it hard to up the rate against some disciplined bowling and fielding. Both batsmen reached the retirement mark, but the normal indoor chaos then ensued as run outs and dismissals occurred regularly. Munn returned to the crease to join Ryan Brown, and with three wickets in hand and nine runs needed from the final over for victory, the game was on a knife edge. Zak Hicks bowled an excellent last over, and did not go for a run off the bat, but crucially Upminster scrambled four extras, and although Brown was out to the last ball of the game, the Tandoori Boys finished on 81-4, securing three more bonus points (and five in total).
Most at the game were unaware at the time, but some post match calculations confirmed that those five bonus points meant Upminster had clinched top spot. While it was not an ideal way to finish the season, there had been some brilliant performances in the previous games, meaning Upminster were deserving winners. (Scorecard)
This Sunday the Hunters will also look to win the Premier Division title for the first time when they face Broomhills at Ingatestone at 7.00pm. They are in a similar position to the Tandoori Boys and know that a win will secure the title, but a defeat may not be a disaster, depending on the bonus points picked up.
And the following Sunday (17th March) both the Tandoori Boys and the Hunters are in action as they take part in the Finals Days of their respective competitions.