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Hales in touching distance of title

PUBLISHED: 17:41 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 08:26 01 August 2010

HALES made a welcome return to form, beating third-placed Saxlingham by four wickets to all but guarantee promotion to Alliance Division One.

And if they can secure 12 points it will guarantee a fourth successive title for Steve Rowe's young team.

HALES made a welcome return to form, beating third-placed Saxlingham by four wickets to all but guarantee promotion to Alliance Division One.

And if they can secure 12 points it will guarantee a fourth successive title for Steve Rowe's young team.

Hales won the toss and invited Saxlingham to bat, and made a good start with Rob Andersen removing both openers cheaply. Saxlingham then started to build, with 22 from Pearson before he was caught behind off Lovick with the score on 60.

Former Northants second player W Burnell and Adams then attacked the bowling, scoring 38 from four overs before Adams was caught and bowled by the wily Rowe for 44.

Burnell made an excellent 65, but received little support from the lower order, with the last four wickets going for 19, with Rowe the leading wicket taker with four for 41,as Saxlingham were all out in the last over for 179.

In reply Rowe partnered Chris Andersen, and Rowe's experience saw a solid start with Rowe making 18 before being caught behind with the score on 35. Squire fell cheaply, and Chris Andersen just after, for a well crafted 33, before in-form Dan Andersen and Dave Harmer added 39.

Harmer was caught for 18 with the score at 96 for four. Dan Andersen went for a pugnacious 31, and with Ramsdale gone for four, Saxlingham had control: Hales 115 for six.

Marty Cornish and Jon Vale set about the target with real composure, Vale 26 not out playing the perfect foil to Marty Cornish's textbook innings, as he finished 40 not out.

It saw Hales home by four wickets with three overs to spare in this massive game at the top of Division Two against Lawrence and Forsdick, Saxlinghams's most effective bowlers.

Four points against Swardeston tomorrow will see Hales promoted again. And with a winning draw, the title - and the quadruple - is certainly a possibility.

The Cornish Cricket Coaching School man-of-the-match was Marty Cornish.

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