DENTON St Lawrence is officially the best cricket team in Greater Manchester after winning the title.But the news caught everyone at the club by surprise, especially as they had been bowled out for just 59 runs.
People at Sycamore Park thought the fight had gone into another week after the crushing eight wicket loss at Clifton.
However less than 24 hours later, frowns were definitely turned upside down as news of a points deduction for nearest challengers Flixton filtered through.
That meant St Lawrence were crowned champions of the Greater Manchester Cricket League (GMCL) Premier League with two games to spare.
And they collected their trophy at their final home match of the campaign against Stand on Saturday, September 7.
The news made it a double for St Lawrence after they won the Derek Kay Cup earlier in the season – and their second team added to the mood by sealing promotion from Division Three East.
It was also a welcome surprise for overseas pro Neil Hornbuckle, who was on his way back to his native South Africa when he found out!
And he told the Correspondent he will be back for what he hopes is a repeat in 2020.Hornbuckle said: “My season at DSL was a memorable one on and off the field.
“It’s a great family club with some talented youngsters and it is definitely a club on the rise.
“Winning the double is a great achievement. Obviously, it wasn’t the way you want to win the league but we have played some great cricket throughout the season with everyone in the team adding value.
“And I will be back. It was an easy decision, hence the reason I re-signed.”
News from the GMCL came as a shock to everyone as Flixton were deducted 10 points for failing to fulfil a second team game at Westleigh.
League rules mean that was split between the club’s two sides, putting the first team out of reach.
A spokesman for the GMCL said: “In forfeiting a second team fixture, due to lack of players, Flixton C&SC have a 10-point penalty, which by our rules is split equally by the team forfeiting the game and the club’s highest placed team, so therefore five points to each of the second and first teams.”
The spokesman also further clarified the rule, which was only introduced for this season.
It says: “On each occasion, for a club with one senior team, it shall incur a 10-point penalty.
“For a club with two or more senior teams, there will be an aggregate of 10 points penalty, all allocated against the club’s most senior team if that team is the team forfeiting the match, or otherwise as to five points penalty against the team forfeiting and five points penalty against that club’s most senior team.”