Last-match anguish for Maxwell’s Hucknall side

TO THE LAST  --  another superb season for Hucknall captain and all-rounder Robin Maxwell ended with three wickets in five overs again st Long Eaton.
TO THE LAST -- another superb season for Hucknall captain and all-rounder Robin Maxwell ended with three wickets in five overs again st Long Eaton.

Frustrated HUCKNALL were left to rue what might have been after their dream of promotion to the Notts Premier League fell agonisingly short.

Hucknall won their final match of the Gunn And Moore South Notts League, Division A season.

But sadly, so did leaders Attenborough, who duly held on to their slender eight-point lead to be crowned champions.

Second place still represents Hucknall’s highest-ever finish. But if only they had not lost to Attenborough in their crunch clash at the end of July.

If only their home form had been a bit better. They suffered costly defeats at the New Gatehouse Ground, yet won six of their nine away games.

And if only they could have found a shade more strength in depth to the squad, particularly in the batting department.

“The bowling unit was excellent throughout the season,” said a club spokesman.

“The fault lines were in the batting where Robin Maxwell and Dale Campbell were streets ahead of everybody else.

“The fact that no other frontline batsman averaged even as much as 24 -- and that there were only two half-centuries outside Maxwell and Campbell -- explains the difference between first place and second.”

Maxwell, who has scored 625 runs and taken 35 wickets, and South African Campbell, who has plundered 712 runs, were again to the fore as Hucknall licked Long Eaton by 99 runs in their last game of 2014.

The skipper made 28 (three fours) and took three wickets for seven runs in five overs, while Campbell hit 35 (one six and four fours) and then took four catches behind the stumps.

Once they had gone, Hucknall collapsed from 93 for two to 153 for seven against the bowling of Marlon Franklyn (four for 47 in 14.2 overs) and, playing against his former club, Alan Villiers (four for 59 in 16). But they were held together by Lee Smith (45 not outl, one six and three fours) and Jake Wright (21) to post a total of 193.

It proved far too big for the visitors. who crashed from 34 for one to 94 all out, despite 35 (six fours) from Tom Pepper.

As well as Maxwell, the bowling honours went to spinner Adam Scott, whose return of four for 31 from 11 overs was his best of the season.

Josh Buckley (one for 18 in seven overs) bowled a tidy spell with the new ball, and Max Thompson (two for 24 in 4.3) ensured the Long Eaton tail didn’t wag for too long.