Cricket: Gayle and Bridgen knock off runs for promotion-chasing Thornbury

Heavy rain stopped play at Thornbury on Saturday during their match against Keynsham SR_339_001

Heavy rain stopped play at Thornbury on Saturday during their match against Keynsham SR_339_001

First published in Sport Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor covering the Thornbury, Dursley and Yate areas

THORNBURY kept their promotion bid on track with a ten-wicket victory at local rivals Downend in a shortened match.

James Tunnicliffe went for 21 in the first over, before Thornbury steadied the innings, bringing the run rate down with vital wickets coming from Graeme McWhinnie and Richard Hughes.

With Thornbury putting the pressure back on to Downend, the heavens opened and drenched the pitch.

At the break, Thornbury had Downend 85-3 after 17 overs.

The game was put on hold for two and a half hours, and was reduced to 25 overs per side, putting Downend on the back foot.

With some tight bowling from Harry Wormwell, Greg Mallitte and Marcus Wormwell, Thornbury restricted Downend as much as they could with the innings finishing on 150-4.

A quick change over saw Juvaunie Gayle and Kyp Bridgen come to the crease.

Thornbury started strongly and positively, going at the required run rate of six per over.

Gayle and Bridgen looked in no trouble whatsoever, hitting the ball all over the park.

Thornbury finished up on 151-0 as the openers took full responsibility and steered them home to an emphatic victory, Gayle unbeaten on 93 and Bridgen scoring 50 not out.

They scored the runs with just over five overs to spare to remain six points behind league leaders Ashcott and Shapwick, who they play on Saturday at home.

The first team's faint promotion hopes were washed away as their home game against Keynsham was abandoned.

Thornbury were on 23-3 after being put in when a huge downpour brought the game to a premature end.

In the Bristol and District League Seventh Division, Thornbury thirds moved a step closer to taking the title with a win at Frenchay thirds.

The hosts finished up with 195 after being put in with excellent bowling from Luke Messer (4-20) runs and Alex Allen, who picked another five-wicket haul.

Thornbury's batters reached the total in style with Ed Webb scoring a magnificent 87 with great support from Stu McWhinnie (53) and Mark Stutter hitting an explosive 32, winning by eight wickets with nine overs to spare.

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