When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that's just what title-chasing Pacific did on a sunny Sunday against old rivals and three-times league winners Chigwell. Chigs knew that only victory could keep their title hopes alive, which may have influenced skipper Rob Allum's curious decision, having won the toss, to bat first. PCC opening bowlers Thiagarajan and Brown kept to a disciplined line and length, but Chigs had clearly set out their stall to score, as anything even remotely loose was smeared to the boundary rope by openers Colwill and Allum. With no breakthrough and quite a few runs on the board, PCC skipper Boorman saw fit to make changes, with Bridgett replacing Satish from the pavilion end, and spin king Chasseaud stepping into Brown shoes. Toby's first over was a little loose, but the perceptive Walthamstowian soon made the necessary adjustments and nailed the Essex boys down. Giaco's spell, although economic enough, was not quite packing the required punch, and at 118-0 the situation was looking like spiralling out of control. Ben introduced club youngblood Shaz, in the hope that the boy in form could do some damage, and the skipper's decision was justified as Timbadia proceeded to hoop the ball straight into Allum's pads, plum in front of middle. The breakthrough had been made. Perhaps this unsettled Colwill who, in the next over, swiped at one of Toby's deliveries, merely achieving a looped top edge to Giaco at gully. Shaz's next over was equally lethal, and suddenly Chigwell had lost 3 wickets without scoring. After seeing another of their party clean-bowled by Shaz, Chigs' middle order dug in and sought to form a useful partnership. A change of bowling brought Webley (taxi coordinator extraordinaire) and Gleadow (late, moody) to the fore. Webbo, although hooping it nicely, never really got into his stride, and it was time for the return of the Brown. And what a return it was, as the veteran seamer struck in his first over, finding an edge which was comfortably gloved by Boorman. His third over saw the clean-bowling of Chigs' other danger man and, with Nuggsy removing the number 7 for a blob, the men from Islington were firmly on top. The 45 over mark passed, and Allum made it his intention to bat through to 50. Fair enough, one might suppose, given the circumstances, but the extra 5 overs yielded little in the way of runs as the home side posted a lacklustre 229. Ben and Toby, fresh from a match-winning partnership at Mayfield, took to the crease knowing that scoring fast was the order of the day. And if that was in any doubt, Ben sent a clear message, crashing opening bowler Nick Allum's first two deliveries straight back over his head. What followed from the two Pacifists was a series of drives, cuts and pulls that truly took the wind out of Chigs's sails, and when TC fell for 50 with a partnership of 83 on the board (Chigs' Rob Orange holding on, one-handed, to a scorcher off his own bowling), Si 'Larry' Lawrence was happy to keep up the momentum. After a scratchy start, the beefy Winchester lad employed a good eye and a powerful swing to re-aquaint the ball with the Essex undergrowth. When Ben was stumped, much to the joy of the Essex boys, he was merely replaced with another big-hitter, who, although smaller in stature, was capable of equally big shots. Enter one Tom Ireland, looking to replicate his fantastic knock from this fixture a year previous. Immediately he had an impact, happy-slapping the ball to all corners of the ground as Chigwell's fielding weaknesses were exposed, and keeping the scoreboard ticking at about 8 an over. Rob Allum inserted himself into the bowling attack, and almost instantly took out Larry's middle peg. It was too little too late though, as Jon Webley appeared to assist Tom in the demolition job. Relaxed, assured, not too willing to run, this was vintage Webley driving the ball with aplomb, and with Tom firing on all cylinders and dispatching a huge six over long-on, Chigs' goose was truly cooked. One final boundary from Ireland sounded the victory bell for the visitors, and Pacific march on to a final fixture against Hadley Wood 7 points ahead of second placed South Loughton, who play Old Parkonians in two crunch fixtures.
Other matches: Sun 10-Sep-2017, North Middx CC, Sun 07-May-2017, Old Chigwellians Club, Victory is sweet in last-ball thriller, Sun 11-Sep-2016, Alexandra Palace, Won 2 wickets Burnham sees red as runfest unfolds, Sun 08-May-2016, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn Another tight finish, Sun 30-Aug-2015, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost 5 wickets PCC realise Chig ambitions , Sun 31-May-2015, Alexandra Palace, Won 7 wickets Plucky Pacific hang on for draw, Sun 31-Aug-2014, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn Pacific 'Chig' deep for victory, Sun 25-May-2014, Alexandra Palace, Won 19 runs Scores level in last-ball thriller, Sun 28-Apr-2013, Alexandra Palace, Drawn - scores level! To Mankad or not to Mankad? Scores level despite skipper's heroics, Sun 02-Sep-2012, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn - scores level! Sight screens as rafts, Sun 29-Apr-2012, Broxbourne Sports Club, Cancelled Could not raise team, Sun 28-Aug-2011, Old Chigwellians Club, Forfeited If you thought South Africa choked ..., Sun 31-Jul-2011, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 8 runs Perfect April As Draw Sanctuary for Chigwell Removed, Sun 25-Apr-2010, Wray Crescent, Won By 117 runs Allum the key for Chigwell, Sun 26-Apr-2009, Wray Crescent, Drawn The Fairest of Draws, Mon 06-May-2002, Met Police Grd, Drawn Marathon spell from Mileham seals it, Mon 07-May-2001, Away, Won by 3 wkts