Thornbury travelled to bottom-placed Stroud, looking to capitalise on the good form gained after last week’s victory over Frocester, writes Harry Watts.

Conditions were overcast, the outfield was wet and after losing the toss, TCC were asked to bat first.

Regular opening pair Dan Davis and Dan Lezar opened the batting for TCC and got off to a good start, picking up the boundaries on offer and reached 43-0 after the first 10 overs. Lezar was starting to show more attacking intent, hitting Stroud overseas all-rounder Petersen down the ground for a couple of powerful fours. However this intent would see the end of Lezar, who picked out deep mid-wicket after a slog-sweep, TCC 81-1 after 18 overs. Luke Davis joined brother Dan out in the middle and the pair seemed content on rotating the strike and at drinks, TCC were 108-1 and well set for a score of 270.

The pitch was starting to slow, however, and so did the boundary count. The 2nd wicket partnership reached fifty in the 31st over, before Dan drove straight to short extra-cover for 60. Marc Lezar came in at 4 and landed some lusty blows down the ground, but was caught at long-off for 22. Yvan came and went for 6, leaving TCC on 182-4 after 41 overs. Nick Willis-Stovold looked to run hard alongside Luke Davis who passed 50, but after a mix-up, Stovold was run-out for 16. Small cameos from Sam Summerfield and Danny Slade saw Thornbury end on 245-7 from 50 overs, with Luke top scoring with 62. A good bowling performance was needed.

Luke and Dan Davis opened the bowling for TCC and it would be captain Luke who would make the first breakthrough, trapping Lazenbury LBW for 4. Overseas Petersen came in to bat at three and this was undoubtedly the crucial wicket. Other opener Jupp played and missed at numerous drives outside off-stump and it came at no surprise when he eventually edged behind to Sam Summerfield to give Luke Davis a second wicket, 30-2 after 9 overs. After a bobble in the outfield lead to the ball smashing into his mouth, Josh Riggs recovered to come in the attack alongside Dan Lezar to replace the Davis brothers. Dan Lezar was bowling well and twice found the edge of Chris Job with the batsman on 14 & 17, only for both chances to be shelled in the slip cordon. Job, alongside Petersen, made Thornbury pay and started to frustrate the TCC fielders.

At drinks Stroud were 99-2, as Yvan Grant and Greg Mallitte entered the attack. The 100 partnership came up in the 32nd over and Stroud were needing just over 6 runs an over for victory. Danny Slade entered the attack in the 34th over and trapped Job LBW for 48 in his first over. Louis Gegg came in but departed early, after picking out Dan Lezar at point to give Luke Davis another wicket, who brought himself back into the attack, Stroud 156-5 after 37 overs. New batsman Golding came in and started well, picking up boundaries and was striking at over a run a ball. The score passed 180 and at this point, Stroud were favourites, needing only 60 from the last 10 with two set batsman in. Yvan Grant replaced Luke who had bowled out (10-0-38-3) and his pace was starting to trouble Petersen who was nearing 100. The score passed 200 and with Stroud only needing a run a ball, bizarrely Petersen charged down the track to Danny Slade, but was done by the shorter length and extra flight and was stumped by Summerfield for 90.

Stroud were 205-5 after 44 overs and the combination of Slade and Grant put on a death bowling masterclass. The Stroud batsman struggled to get anything from Grant’s quick bowling and had to settle for singles from Slade’s spin from the other end. The required run-rate was starting to accelerate and as the pressure started to build, Stroud’s batsman caved in. Both Slade (9-0-54-4) and Grant (10-0-38-2) picked up a further two wickets and with 24 runs needed off the last, Stroud focused on reaching 225 to ensure maximum batting points, which they achieved, but a run-out from Josh Riggs off the last ball ensured Thornbury would take maximum bowling points from the fixture. Stroud were all out for 226, securing a 19-run victory for the visiting Thorns.

It was a tense affair, but Thornbury did well to hold their nerve at the end. A slip up from Chippenham against Biddestone has ensured that TCC move top of WEPL 2 Glos-Wilts by 2 points, meaning promotion to the top division is in our hands with five games to go. Next week the 1sts return to The Ship, with Dumbleton the visitors.