A win over Ramsdell ensured that Oakley kept their promotion dream alive on Saturday.
On an afternoon where summer made a welcome late return to Oakley Park, the Rams batted first. They were soon in trouble, courtesy of fine bowling by Brad Compton-Bearne and Elliot Hennessey.
However, Jonny Bradley stayed firm for the Rams and excellent middle order contributions from Oaks old boys, Tom & Sam Holbrook, changed the game.
The Rams were looking at flying past the 200 mark but some tight bowling by Dave Pistorious and wonderful hat-trick for Brad, reduced the total to 202.
Chasing the target, Brad went into full on ballistic mode as a bemused but grateful Elliot, played the rare part of second fiddle.
The game looked gone at 80-0 but when Brad departed on 54, there was an alarming cluster of wickets. Elliot went for 24 and Dan Jones, Micheal Wood and Alex Brundle all went cheaply, leaving the Oaks reeling at 120-5.
It was down to George Lethaby and Mike Tiley to get the Oaks back in control. They did so, with George, stepping up from the two’s, making an excellent, match defining, 43.
However, when George was out with 20 odd still need, Will Cheyney followed next ball. Was there to be a further twist?
No, there wasn’t.
Mike Tiley stayed put for 29, allowing a lusty 16 from Ian Bennett to ease Oakley home to a fine win.
The game was played on a great spirit between rivals on it, and old friends off it.
Both teams dearly wanted to win, but that did not get in the way of everyone enjoying a beer together after.
The result ended the Rams excellent unbeaten run and leaves Oakley with a sniff of promotion with one to play.
Well done both teams.
The Two’s, obviously missing the talent of Bob Lethaby, slumped to a heavy defeat at Bentworth.
In a game where only a lusty 37 from Ravi Kancharla and 15 each for the Rabley’s, staved off humiliation, Oakley looked jaded.
2 wickets each for Nick Green and Tom Barnes made a fist of it but Bentworth we’re comfortable winners in the end.
The GJ Plate Final on Sunday was a game too far for Oakley.
A lacklustre and error strewn showing in the field allowed Hook to reach 168.
With Elliot and Brad opening was not an impossible target. However, it was not our day and despite a credible fight back by Alex Brundle and Ian Bennett, Hook won with relative comfort.
The fact we stuck at it and made the score respectable (145) bodes well for the future.
It was a game played in good spirits with all the players from both teams crowding into the bar to watch the Ben Stokes show at Headingley.
With a dash of irony, we go into next Saturday’s final game looking for Hook to do us a big favour against Sparsholt.
Whatever happens, we are having an end of season bash at the club after all the games, so please come along and reflect on a great season!
Our best ever finish has been achieved.