QUEDGELEY & Hardwicke rounded off a summer to remember with a 109-run victory at Chedworth which ensured the Division Six champions ended the season with the only unbeaten record in the AMS Gloucestershire County League.
Ben Hopkins was again central to the club’s success, leading the way with 79 to take his runs tally to 807 which included four centuries and three other scores of 50-plus.
And he followed up with a return of 2-3 from six to also finish with an impressive total of 29 wickets as his side now prepare for life in Division Five after missing promotion last year by just seven points.
The only man to score more league runs than Hopkins was CJ Mclean who went through the 1,000-barrier with 128 for promoted Down Hatherley in Division Seven.
The opener rounded off a remarkable first season with the club by smashing 128 (17 fours, three sixes) as Down Hatherley chased down a target of 246 away to Painswick 2nds with eight balls to spare.
Mclean finished with a grand total of 1,002 runs after completing his fifth ton of the campaign along with three other half centuries.
Newcomers Arcadians Nine Elms are promoted as Division Seven champions despite a one-wicket reverse away to Chalford whose last wicket pair of Jamie Holt (16) and Keith Williams (15) held their nerve at the death.
The mantle of leading league wicket taker went to Kingsholm’s Matt Cayless who finished with 41 victims to his name after a haul of 5-46 in a 69-run defeat away to Division One champions Chipping Sodbury who now head for WEPL along with Cheltenham Civil Service who were 41-run victors at Aston Ingham.
There was final day drama at Chipping Campden who edged Cheltenham 2nds by three wickets to preserve their Division One status and simultaneously send their opponents down, captain Sam Nicholls top scoring on 56 and Jack Groves providing a valuable 44.
Division Two champions Lydney wrapped up their season with a 68-run triumph away to Rockhampton 2nds while runners up Langford were six-wicket home victors over relegated Gloucester AIW Sports.
Mike Baverstock (4-23 from eight) led the charge as Tetbury edged Division Three champions Fairford by 30 runs while Cricklade, the runaway winners of Division Four, powered past Chipping Sodbury 2nds by nine wickets thanks to unbeaten half centuries from Alex Kill and Chris Nicholas.
Also preparing for life in Division Three are Dymock who completed a five-wicket win at Cranham, Andy Bevan (5-10 from eight) and Matt Barratt (3-24) inflicting the damage.
Stroud 2nds took advantage of a slip-up by their Kingsholm counterparts to grab the Division Five title.
Captain Tom Richings top scored on 61 as Stroud held off Lydney 2nds by six runs to make the most of Kingsholm 2nds, leaders at the start of the day, succumbing by ten wickets at home to Cheltenham 3rds as Matt Baker (81) and Bertie Michael (60) made light work of chasing a target of 162. Kingsholm ended the season as runners-up.
Main image courtesy Mike Starling