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Thames title comes down to first versus second on final day
HAVING led the way for most of the season, Amersham CC now have to pull a rabbit out of the hat on the final day of the season.
Their defeat to Chesham last weekend allowed Finchampstead to move above them at the top of the Thames Valley League and establish a 13-point gap.
With just one round of fixtures remaining, that looks like a daunting lead.
But there is hope for Amersham; their league campaign reaches a crescendo tomorrow when Finchampstead are the visitors in a title showdown at Shardeloes.
Amersham captain Luke Jackson said: “It’s been looking like this might happen.
“We hoped it would be a little closer. We’re quite a long way behind now sadly, but if we can win the league now it would be an incredible end to the season.”
However, those 13 points means a victory over Finch might not be enough.
If Amersham are to strike late to snatch back what’s looked theirs for most of the season, they need luck on their side as well.
Jackson said: “It would be very useful to win the toss for a change.
“It’s very simple; we need to win the toss and win the game.
“We would get 25 points in that scenario and the most Finchampstead could get is ten.
“But if Finchampstead win the toss, we’d have to win chasing.
“They’d have to get less than 150 runs and take less than four wickets.
“In some ways it’s simplified. If there were just three or four points in it it would be very tense working out what we needed to do.
“This way, it’s easier for everyone knowing they’ve just got to go out and win. It gives them a little bit of freedom.”
Amersham wouldn’t have expected to find themselves in this position a month ago however.
But since winning away at Wokingham on August 3 they have won just one of their four league games.
A rained off game against High Wycombe didn’t help as they collected just seven points from the cancellation compared to Finchampstead’s 20 from their win at Eversley.
But Amersham also lost badly to Beaconsfield, taking just five points after being dismissed for 84, before defeat to Chesham last weekend, which earned them only six points.
Again batting was the issue as they were knocked over for 130 in response to Chesham’s 213-9.
Jackson said: “We didn’t bowl very well. Luke [Douglas, 6-90] did, but the rest didn’t.
“But 213 is still a score we thought we could get. But Chesham bowled very well and we didn’t bat well.
“We were off colour in all departments. It’s both very frustrating and disappointing.”
Clearing their heads in time for tomorrow will not be easy.
Jackson said: “There are a few batsmen not in great form, so I’m more worried about that than the mental side of it.”
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