Former Egerton Park players were treated to a thrilling last wicket win as the home side edged a low-scoring match to keep their promotion hopes alive.
The local derby against Syston Town Second XI was preceded by the club’s annual Past Players and Members Lunch which was well attended.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first, but Kamal Panchal struck in the first over, and when Nick Watchorn took the next five wickets in his 12-over spell, Syston were in deep trouble at 49-6.
Tom Corbett (59) batted well with Dharmesh Bhattia (20), putting on 47 together, but when their resistance ended, Syston were all out for 125 with the last four wickets falling to the leg spin of Josh Blunt and Zaheer Hussain.
After tea, Park lost both openers cheaply, but Tom Glover (21) looked to capitalise on his good fortune after being dropped several times.
Wickets continued to fall regularly as the home batsman got themselves in and then got out.
Blunt batted well for his 18 as he held the lower order together, but when he was caught behind off the impressive Chris Pole the home side still needed 16 to win with number 10 and 11 at the crease.
Every ball was compulsive viewing as Park edged towards victory. The talent of Joe Barnard (9 not out) and the experience of Richard Haffenden (13 not out) managed to get the hosts over the line, Haffenden driving a four past the bowler much to the relief and excitement of the spectators.
Park captain Watchorn said: “We made victory a lot harder than it should have been, but credit has to be given to Syston who didn’t let up.
“But I’m really proud of this team, everyone has contributed throughout the season and the team spirit is evident
“The desire to win mixed with the ability we have has got us over the line today. It was a great spectacle and I’m really pleased our past players and members got to experience one of the closest games of the season.”
Park hit the road on Saturday as they travel to Quorn who are rooted at the bottom of Division Three.
Syston Town: C. Royal 0, P. Oakman 1, T. Corbett 59, S. Cooper 6, C. Pole 8, C. Mannishler 0, H. Wait 6, D. Bhattia 20, M. Abraham 9, P. Howard 2, A. Beynon 1*, Extras 13. Total: 125.
Bowling: K. Panchal 7-2-21-1; N. Watchorn 12-4-29-5; T. Glover 3-0-17-0; J. Blunt 9.2-0-35-2; Z. Hussain 7-3-13-2.
Egerton Park: S. Rose 1, R. Bailey 13, Z. Hussain 20, T. Glover 21, H. Webster 16, D. Burdett 6, J. Blunt 18, K. Panchal 0, N. Watchorn 2, R. Haffenden 13*, J. Barnard 9*, Extras 8. Total: 127-9.
Bowling: D. Bhattia 8.5-2-29-2; C. Pole 12-4-21-2; P. Howard 11-1-37-2; A. Beynon 2-0-7-0; S. Cooper 7-1-27-3.