By Steve Hill
FROCESTER are heading back to WEPL’s top flight despite defeat on the final Saturday of the season at home to Burbage & Easton Royal.
Will Naish’s side started the day 20 points clear of nearest rivals Goatacre who dispatched relegated Warminster by 65 runs.
But Frocester banked eight bonus points from a five-wicket home reverse, and that was enough to ensure they finished seven points ahead of Goatacre in Premier Two Glos/Wilts to return to Premier One after being relegated in 2018.
An unbroken third-wicket stand of 217 between Uzi Qureshi and opener Johnny Griffiths lifted Frocester to 257-2 after losing the toss.
Qureshi’s 121 off 109 included 12 fours and four sixes while Griffiths finished on 100 from 169 (eight fours and a six) before Burbage eased to their target with ten balls to spare.
Pictures: Brian Rossiter
Meanwhile, Stroud bowled out newcomers Corse & Staunton for 110 and romped in by eight wickets, Islamnabi Ahmadzai finishing with memorable figures of 4-6 from ten overs, but still finished bottom of the table and are relegated back to the Gloucestershire division.
Coming up, meanwhile, are Painswick who saw off Cirencester by 117 runs to confirm their promotion from the Gloucestershire division.
Rogan Wolhuter (71) and Keegan Jansen Van Rensburg (70) helped Painswick total 233-7 before Ciren were dismissed for 116, Van Rensburg ending a memorable season with a return of 4-9 from ten.
Dumbleton finished second after cruising in by 285 runs at home to Bourton Vale.
The village side piled up 415-5 led by Tommy Boorman’s 118 off 68 while openers Dan Holland (104) and Ross Martin (84) along with Nipun Haggalla (70 from 33) also enjoyed batting conditions.
The visitors then folded to 130 all out, Will Sharp finishing with 5-21.
Frocester 2nds, meanwhile, trumped relegated Apperley by 129 runs, Charlton Kings held off Gloucester by 17 runs and promoted Tewkesbury emerged 86-run home victors over Rockhampton who also drop down.