Weybridge take title fight to final day and send East Molesey down (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Weybridge take title fight to final day and send East Molesey down
Skipper Joel Pope’s men secured a four wicket win at Graburn Way on Saturday as East Molesey counterpart Sam Burge watched his side surrender their top flight status after just one season.
Twelve months ago Weybridge were finishing the campaign one place above the drop zone after losing the first eight games of last term.
This time around they are four points off the championship summit ahead of Saturday’s visit from Guildford, a game they need to win and hope leaders Wimbledon slip up at home to fourth-placed Banstead.
But Pope insists that whatever happens, it will have been a great season given the turnaround in their fortunes.
“Last year was not a good one. The first half of the season was horrible. I don’t think we won a game until the second half of the season,” he said.
“It is amazing how we have turned that around.
“Our second team did not have a great season either. They survived relegation on the last day last year and have gone on to win the league this year.
“Hopefully we can make it a double. It would be lovely to win the league given where we finished last year.
“Even if we come second or third, it has been a great turnaround and we have a lot to be proud of.”
East Molesey, who had needed to win to have a chance of survival, batted first and had reached 147-3 through Burge and Paul Lawford’s 89-run partnership, before collapsing to 209-9.
Luc Durandt’s run-a-ball 58 put Weybridge on top in reply as they got to 105-1, but a mini collapse meant they needed a brisk 33 from Pope to get them over the line with wickets and overs to spare.
And Guildford’s victory at Sutton – which came off the penultimate ball of the game - meant East Molesey returned to Division One.
“I took no pleasure in relegating them. It was actually quite sad to be there at the end of the game, when they found out,” added Pope.
“It is a lovely ground and they are a good bunch of lads. It was a strange atmosphere.”