Ives beat Bluntisham to secure Tucker 1 cricket next season

ST IVES Town snatched their second consecutive promotion on the last day of the season.

ST IVES Town snatched their second consecutive promotion on the last day of the season.

Ives will be playing cricket in Tucker 1 next season after a dramatic final day saw them swat aside relegated Bluntisham, while Ickwell and Waresley – in the promotion slots before the day’s action – went head-to-head.

Ickwell’s victory, achieved with three balls to spare, secured them the title and opened the door for Ives to go up.

St Ives captain Ricky Greiller said his team had been focusing only on their game, knowing that 30 points would get them over the line.

After being invited to bat, Tom Beale (86) and Steve Setchell (66) put on their best opening stand of the season, totalling 156. Ives declared after 39 overs with the score at 225-5 and set about removing Bluntisham.

Steve Dighton (63) threatened to spoil the Ives party but once he was dismissed they folded to 168 all out, handing Ives the 30 points they needed.

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Ives skipper Greiller said: “We were lucky that they put us into bat, and there’s no better time to put together your best opening partnership of the year.

“We knew we wanted to declare to give ourselves time to bowl them out, and we had in mind 220 in 39 overs, which we achieved. They batted better than last time we played, but we didn’t panic.”

Having targeted promotion at the start of the season, Greiller said he and his team knew it would come down to the final day.

“We expected Ickwell and Waresley to keep on picking up the 30 points every week, but with them playing on the last day, we just had to keep in touch and hope we could beat Bluntisham.”

After two promotions in a row Greiller said his new side had realistic expectations of life in Tucker 1.

“It’s going to be a big step up, and out first priority is to survive. We don’t want to put this year’s hard work to waste by coming straight back down.

“We’ve got a young squad, but we want to keep hold of them and maybe attract some new players with Tucker 1 cricket. The players who got us up will get their chance.”

He added: “Our strength is depth has been excellent this year – when the top four or five haven’t performed, the lower order have dug us out of holes. It’s difficult to pick any player out, because they’ve all been superb.”