CHELTENHAM clinched the WEPL Premier Two Glos/Wilts title and promotion back to the top tier of the region’s leading competition thanks to a final day home 41-run victory over Trowbridge.
Will Simmons’ side (pictured below) started the day knowing that victory of any sort would be enough to clinch the silverware – and that defeat would allow second-placed Thornbury, without a game following Lechlade’s decision to concede, to instead grab top spot.
But Cheltenham were always in the driving seat after winning the toss, opener Kieran Smith compiling 104 off 132 balls (15 fours) in a total of 258-7 before Josh Breed (5-33 from ten) led the victory charge with the ball.
This result also had repercussions at the other end of the table as Trowbridge banked a total of seven points to ensure they finished seventh, four clear of Rockhampton who suffered a 73-run setback at Burbage & Easton Royal.
While Cheltenham are going up to Premier One, coming down in the opposite direction are Frocester whose relegation was confirmed with a 16-run reverse at home to Bristol.
New Zealander Will Young’s 122 powered Bristol to 262-7, Ross Martin bagging 4-33 from nine, before Frocester came up just short despite Uzi Qureshi’s 67.
Downend finished third after a 63-run victory at Taunton St Andrews which included 62 from Gloucestershire’s Ian Cockbain while Bedminster secured seventh after a seven-wicket home defeat against Bath.
Lansdown are also heading for Premier One after becoming the champions of Premier Two Bristol/Somerset where Bishopston claimed fourth place with a seven-wicket thrashing of Midsomer Norton who were rushed out for only 24 by Kiwi Jack Hunter (7-6 from 7.4 overs).
Promoted to this division, as champions of Bristol & North Somerset, are Winterbourne (pictured below) who ensured top spot with a ten-wicket walloping of Brislington.
Skipper Ant Caines (51) top scored in Brislington’s below-par total of 172 which was knocked off in only 24 overs by Ben Slade (69) and Rich Trotman who reached his century and completed the win with a four to midwicket.
The runners-up slot went to Knowle despite a four-wicket reverse away to Congresbury who, in the process, ensured they missed the drop.
One of the partnerships of the day, meanwhile, came at Twyford House where Stapleton were struggling at 142-8 only for skipper Olly Sharp and Ash Birkinshaw to put on an unbroken 185.
Sharp’s 108 off only 54 balls included nine four, nine sixes while Birkinshaw’s 80 off 53 featured ten fours and five sixes.
Stapleton finished on 327-8 ahead of the home side being restricted to a reply of 268-9, skipper Alec Bosomworth hitting 86.
Frocester 2nds, already confirmed as Gloucestershire division champions, were beaten by three wickets at Hatherley & Reddings.
The relegation of Frocester’s first team means the club’s second XI cannot be promoted into the same division.
And that meant plenty was riding on the battle to finish second with Stroud taking advantage of a slip-up by Gloucester City Winget to claim the runners-up slot.
Winget were bowled out for 50 at home to Cirencester and a 92-run defeat by Tom Fullalove (6-21) and James King (4-29).
This result enabled Stroud to instead finish second courtesy of their nine-wicket pounding of Kingsholm, opener Tom Horrell thumping 92 off only 67 deliveries (13 fours, three sixes).
The WEPL board will meet this week to confirm all promotions and relegations throughout the seven-division cross-county competition which covers Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.