Stalwart Graham Sprack played his final game.
AFTER an astounding season, the IW Disability cricket team were cruelly denied the Southern Area crown in the ECB Disability County Championship by rivals Hampshire last weekend.
Both the IW and Hampshire went into the final game of the season unbeaten, so it would be a case of winner-takes-all on Sunday. But a poor wicket, which seriously limited the chances of a big score, and the weather, combined to condemn the IW to a disappointing defeat.
What made it even worse was the fact the team had hoped to give one of their longest-serving and most dedicated members, Graham Sprack, the perfect send-off in his retirement game.
The IW batted first and, after a warning from Hampshire’s coach that a score of between 60 and 80 would be a real achievement on the poor wicket, managed around 68.
The rain then came and, after a recalculation, Hampshire were set a revised target of just 40 from 25 overs, a score they edged to with plenty of overs to spare.
Player Dean Hodges said: "It was really disappointing end to what has been a fantastic season, one I personally feel is the best we’ve ever had. It was a real shame not to be able to give Graham the send-off he really deserved. We gave him a guard of honour on the day, but a win would have been perfect."
The IW had enjoyed some fantastic results this summer, including a huge victory over Essex — featuring four England players — whom they bowled out for just 37, a total they surpassed quickly and without dropping a wicket, while in their win over Middlesex, Julian Gurney scored his first century.
More recently they defeated a young and mobile Sussex team at Newclose, by nine runs. The IW had posted 168, including half-centuries for Chris Hebberd and Ian Rogers. Surrey needed 16 off the last over, but the IW restricted them for a thrilling win.