Guernsey Press

Kirk keeps Griffins in the hunt

THE reigning Guernsey weekend champions’ title defence is still alive – but only just.

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Griffins captain Tom Kirk and wicketkeeper Matt Philp are convinced they have combined to take a wicket, but have their appeal turned down. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32177834)

Griffins had their captain Tom Kirk to thank for a composed, unbeaten half-century that took his side to a nerve-wracking one-wicket win over the OEA at the College Field on Saturday and set up a winner-takes-all encounter with Cobo this coming weekend.

‘It’s in our hands – we win the game, we retain the title and we’ll always back ourselves in every game,’ said Kirk.

‘We’ve got a pretty strong unit, so it’s just good to have it in our hands and still be in it.’

His side were set a modest 170 for victory by an OEA side missing their star all-rounder Matt Stokes, but Griffins were without their leading batter in Luke Le Tissier.

However, having reached 50 for the loss of just one wicket, Griffins seemed well on their way to victory until they suddenly lost six for just 27.

Kirk eventually received some assistance from the lower order, but he and Rob Thomson still required 38 when they came together as the last pair.

They had to survive a major scare or two, but they did it with five-and-a-half overs to spare.

‘We’ve been there a few times as a group, but it’s a good time when we actually get over the line. It’d be nicer to do it with only a couple of wickets down,’ said a relieved Griffins skipper.

• Match report in Monday's Guernsey Press.