Depleted OVs secure a second successive title

RATHBONES OLD VICTORIANS captain Luke Gallichan said he was ‘really proud of the boys’ after they sealed back-to-back 40-over Weekend League titles on Saturday.

Jack Stevens bowling for OVs v Walkovers Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31522063)
Jack Stevens bowling for OVs v Walkovers Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31522063)

In the end, OVs were made to work hard for it against a youthful Walkovers side who were anything but a walkover on this showing.

The champions would have been expected to win this game with only the possibility of rain their greatest opponent on the day, a circumstance that Gallichan was ‘dreading’ as any abandonment would have handed rivals Farmers-Caesareans the championship by three points.

‘That would have been very sour,’ admitted Gallichan.

In the end, they saw it through, holding off both Walkovers and the weather to win by five wickets.

Both teams were shorn of key players in this must-win match for OVs, and Gallichan was quick to compliment both sets of players.

‘Walkovers put on a really good performance on a tough wicket, putting 230 in the rain and they’ve got a couple of young lads who came in and bowled really well,’ he said

‘We had a few lads missing for whatever reasons too but our twos players came in and did a job and they batted really well and bowled really well.’

To be precise, Walkovers actually got up to 231 in the first innings before the balls had run out.

Openers Robin Carnegie and captain Nat Watkins were a tough nut to crack for the OVs attack, putting on 37 and 56 runs respectively until they met their makers in Ben Le Gallais and Xav Barette. Further down the order, Jonathan Gough (34), Mikey Pih (25) and Fahad Khatri (33) all put in a decent shift at the crease to contribute to a fairly satisfactory gauntlet for OVs to respond to.

OVs openers Elliot Corbel (60) and Jamie Whatling (45) did that and more, putting on a century partnership to set up what increasingly looked like a comfortable win until Watkins had them both removed within seven minutes of each other.

Gallichan tried to keep the momentum for OVs going but his successive partners struggled to keep up the pace and Walkovers were starting to get a glimpse of an unlikely victory.

In the end, however, there was too much for them to do and just enough for Gallichan to see the game out and clinch the title for the second successive season with an unbeaten 59 of his own.

‘It was quality to get over the line,’ said Gallichan. ‘An absolutely fantastic win. It’s great for the lads, especially the young lads, to get a bit of silverware. We got there in the end.

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