Nantwich CC players celebrate third straight title

Nantwich Cricket Club celebrations went on into the night after the 1st team secured an incredible third league title in a row.

The Whitehouse Lane team secured a hat-trick of crowns on a tense final day in the Cheshire County Premier Division.

And Nantwich had to battle to the end to earn all 25 points away at lowly Toft to keep challengers Hyde at bay.

Nantwich were put into bat after losing the toss, and struggled on a damp wicket against Toft spinners Jimmy Lomas and Rob Jones.

Jonny Kettle (26), Sam Hunt (21) and skipper Andrew Newton (18) helped to the score moving while others were quickly dismissed.

Tail-ender Jimmy Warrington then contributed a key innings of 29 to help Nantwich to 126 all out.

That total was made to look even more impressive when Toft began their reply and were put to the sword early on.

Nantwich pacemen Jimmy Warrington and Chris Connolly ripped through the top order and the hosts lost five wickets with just six runs on the board.

Rob Jones and Eddie Stubbs offered some resistance, but when Stubbs went for 28 Toft were on 75 for 9 and all hope was lost.

They were finally all out for 80, with Connolly producing a five-star display, taking 5 for 27 off eight overs.

Warrington and Ollie Griffiths claimed two victims each, the other snapped up by Newton.

And the victory was vital as runners up Hyde also won, leaving Nantwich just 12 points clear at the top.

Batsman Ollie Law told Nantwichnews: “Our success this year has been down to a fantastic team ethic, consistency and hard work. It’s a joy to play with such great lads.”

Warrington paid tribute to the “mix of youth and experience” in the side.

“It has been an incredible year, a season of two halves, a very poor start but when we gathered momentum we played some fantastic cricket,” he said.

“And a lot of credit goes to all the boys, a great mix of youth and experience, the young lads played with no fear an expressed themselves.

“It is fantastic to win the title for a 3rd year, especially coming from nowhere to become champions again!”

Man of the match Connolly added: “My heart was in my mouth all through the game. I’m so glad we pulled if off!”

It crowns a remarble second-half of the season after the first few weeks of the campaign were marred by inconsistent displays, rain delays and washouts.

(pic courtesy of Nantwich CC – players celebrate after netting 2012 league title)

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