Hucknall’s winning draw against Collingham last weekend, with other results going their way, leaves them on the brink of the greatest moment in the playing history of the club - winning a major Saturday cricket league.
Now just one point at Long Eaton this weekend will secure the South Notts League Division A title after a memorable day at the New Gatehouse, and in particular for Dale Campbell.
Put in to bat, Hucknall’s South African star Campbell produced a sensational and perfectly-timed 170 not out in a total of 310-5 - Hucknall’s second highest first team score at the ground.
During his innings Campbell reached 1,000 runs in Division A for the season. 662 of those have been at the New Gatehouse where he averages 82.75.
His innings is the highest individual score ever for Hucknall in Saturday League cricket and the highest ever innings by a Hucknall player at the New Gatehouse.
Campbell and Tim Buckthorpe started quietly and carefully, but after 10 overs were ticking over nicely at 41 without loss.
Buckthorpe was bowled by left armer Harry Sheppard for 12 by which time Campbell was regularly caressing the ball to the boundary.
Collingham were then boosted by Robin Maxwell being bowled by David Sears in his second over for a duck.
Campbell went to a run-a-ball half century with 10 boundaries before Aaron Lee took over, bossing an 83-run partnership for the third wicket.
Lee’s innings of 42 was ended by Jonathan Todd as the batsman advanced unconvincingly down the pitch and was comfortably stumped by George Hogg.
Campbell picked up the pace again as he and Lee Smith made a 50 partnership off just 52 deliveries, during which Campbell went to an excellent hundred off 113 balls, his third New Gatehouse century in his last five appearances and his fourth of the South Notts season.
Smith’s innings was ended on 12 when he was bowled by Oliver Dyson bringing Scott Harris to the crease with just under 10 overs to go.
It began a run fest with Harris hitting a quickfire 26 off 17 balls before being caught at long off by Chaz Dixon.
The rest of the innings was then mayhem as Campbell and Jake Wright took the bowling apart. Campbell went past his previous highest score for Hucknall of 128 and reached 150 off 144 balls. The last six overs brought 87 runs as Wright hit two maximums in an innings of 34 off 16 balls.
The pair put on 77 off 32 balls with Campbell finishing unbeaten on 170 off 150 balls with 18 fours and six sixes.
A brief shower after tea delayed the Collingham reply, but their openers Rob Matchett and Alistair Haynes began well with a 75-run partnership, ended by Suhail Ahmed with a catch at the second attempt by Jake Wright at first slip off the dangerous Haynes for 44.
Dyson joined Matchett as they took the score to 97. Dyson was caught at slip but Matchett reached a half century off 80 balls.
With 15 overs to go Collingham were 126-3 and seemingly out of it as far as victory was concerned. The players left the field for another sharp shower as thunder rumbled in the distance.
What followed when play resumed was remarkable as Pates and Adam Scott dismantled the visitor’s batting as six wickets fell for 17 runs.
Firstly Scott trapped Todd lbw and then a likewise dismissal saw Matchett go to Pates for a fine 67. A double wicket maiden for Scott then followed and in his next over he bowled another wicket maiden.
His day trip back to the New Gatehouse from a holiday in France was proving very worthwhile as he and Pates took another wicket each as Collingham went to nine down with seven overs to go. However, Chad Batty and Andrew Shaw saw them home to a draw although Harris nearly pulled off what would have been a brilliant catch to win the match tight in to the pitch.
Nevertheless an 18-point winning draw was perfectly satisfactorily and half an hour later became more so when news came through that Ellerslie had lost in the last over of their match.
Adam Scott’s 4-30 were his best competitive figures for three years.