GARETH Boys says Ellesmere Port must ‘fight until the very last ball’ if they are to emerge victorious from their do-or-die relegation decider at Frodsham on Saturday.
The scenario could not be more straightforward for the Port going into their final match of the Cheshire Alliance season – lose and they will be relegated from the top flight just 12 months after going up as Division Two champions.
Even a victory may not be enough to secure their survival. But Boys is demanding his players do not go down without a fight against a Frodsham side also in danger of making the drop.
Port captain Boys said: “It will be a dogfight on Saturday and we have to be prepared to fight until the very last ball.
“It may be a little too late, but we’ve got to go there in a positive frame of mind and get the 25 points that will give us a chance.”
Port remain rooted to the foot of Division One after their high-scoring draw at Old Parkonians on Saturday.
Boys did all he could to lead his side to the win they so desperately craved with an unbeaten knock of 112.
In danger of collapsing at 44-3, the visitors fought back to post 214-6 courtesy of the skipper’s excellent partnership with James Gattrell (49).
With Dwayne Bernard (5-66) in fine form, Port’s reply started well and at 76-6 Old Parkonians were on the ropes. But the hosts made the most of their excellent batting track to battle back before being stopped five runs short of their target on 210-6.
The Groves, meanwhile, made it five victories in their last six Meller Braggins League Division Three matches with a 40-run home success over Stretton on the same afternoon.
Having banished their relegation fears, the pressure was off Mike Garvey’s men and they responded with a batting display that yielded just 113 runs.
Captain Garvey and Martin Flanagan shared what proved to be a vital 49-run stand and then grabbed three and four wicket respectively as Stretton were snaffled up for a meagre 73.
The Groves could finish as high as sixth if they win their last game of the campaign away to Over Peover on Saturday.