CAPTAIN Nick Trainor insists Frocester’s Premier One title win ranks as ‘one of the best days of his life’.
The men from Pounds Close held their nerve in a final-day title decider against rivals Bath to win by 21 runs.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” said Trainor, who won the league in 2007.
“To win it against Bath was the cherry onthe cake after they beat us on the final day three years ago.
“It was a sweet day and the celebrations lasted for most of the weekend.
Earlier, Trainor won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first with Paul Muchall and Uzi Qureshi making a fluent start, 20 runs coming from the first four overs.
Qureshi fell for nine and Trainor fell, caught at mid-wicket for nine and, with the total at 61, Muchall (22) and Bracey fell leg before to consecutive deliveries from James Brown.
But, Tom Wand, batting in a composed and fluent style, provided the backbone of the Frocester innings.
He was the dominant partner in a partnership of 61 with Fin Dixon that took the total to 122 for four, but Dixon, trying a lofted drive, spooned a catch to point, out for 15.
Gegg looked in good form but flashed at a bouncer and snicked a catch to the keeper.
At 136-6, the match had swung in Bath’s favour, but Olly Jones joined Wand in a vital partnership of 32 that lifted Frocester’s hopes.
Wand achieved his half century and set himself to bat through the innings, but, he fell in the 46th over for a fine 73 in a total of 168-7. Olly Jones worked hard to ensure his team batted out the overs and was dismissed for 19 from the final delivery of the innings as Frocester reached a total of 189-9.
In reply, a moment of sheer magic brought the first wicket. Gegg decided to stand up to Dunning and this paid dividends as he took a bouncing, leg-side delivery from Dunning to complete a remarkable stumping, with Will Jenkins totally bemused.
Robin Lett, often Frocester’s nemesis with the bat, mis-timed a pull shot from a quick bouncer from Muchall and was caught at mid-on for 12, with Bath staggering at 24-2. Hankins fell to a great catch at deep mid-wicket from Olly Jones, as Muchall captured another wicket with a short, hostile delivery, 32-3.
Tim Rouse (28) and Sam Mount (30) batted sensibly as Bath fought back, but, Richie Cave was in the groove, bowling very accurately and trapped Rouse plumb in front. Bath skipper, Lloyd Davies now entered the fray and was clearly intent on taking his team to victory.
However, pressure was rising and Mount lost his composure, lofting a catch to cover, well-held by Sam Bracey.
Frocester took charge as Richie Cave captured two wickets with consecutive deliveries, as Bath lurched to 115-7.
In recent weeks Bath had brought back the experienced James Brown to bolster their challenge for the title.
His partnership with Davies was the match decider; with sensible, controlled batting, they took the total to 160-7, with Bath heading for victory.
But, Trainor, switching his bowlers by the over, entered the attack, and Davies made the fatal mistake of playing back and across and was trapped LBW for 33, in what must have been a close decision.
Adam Kelly now limped to the wicket with a runner, which added to the drama and pressure.
Every good delivery, every good piece of fielding and, indeed, every run was now vital and fully appreciated by the largest crowd seen at Pounds Close for several years.
Trainor now produced his trump card, bringing the sparingly-used Olly Jones back for the final overs. Brown played one sweep too many and was trapped in front, LBW for 30, 168-9.
Sure enough, Marchant chipped a shot towards Tom Wand at mid-wicket and he held it.