Cricket: Spruce looks at bigger picture in Oulton survival mission
SKIPPER Tom Spruce admitted Oulton's celebrations were low key, despite their impressive victory over Kidsgrove.
The strugglers picked up a welcome six-wicket win after chasing down Grove's 143 all out in some style.
Spruce's side thought the 20-point haul had propelled them out of the relegation zone ... until they found out Bignall End had also found the winning formula.
Oulton remain second-bottom, but are now just 16 points adrift of sixth place.
Visiting the Home & Garden show this Sunday?
We will have some exclusive deals for you so make sure you visit our stand and say hello
Terms: With free entry just visit the show at the Moat House hotel Festival Park between 11am and 4pm and pick up a leaflet
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
"We'd been told that Bignall End's game against Weston didn't look as though it was going to start because of the weather," said Spruce.
"But in the dressing room afterwards we found out they'd won, which dampened our celebrations a bit.
"After putting in such a good performance you look at the league table and think it hasn't done us much good.
"But looking at the bigger picture we have now dragged four or five other teams into the mix."
Spruce was left thanking brother Rob for helping to set Oulton on their way to Saturday's victory.
Kidsgrove were motoring along nicely on 78-1, before Rob picked up the wickets of Ben Lucas, Tom Lench and Richie Jervis in the space of four deliveries to turn the match on its head.
Opener Grant Goodwin stood firm to make 51, but the efforts of Rob Spruce (4-52) and Tim Barcroft (3-21) saw them dismissed for 143.
Jono Whalley dropped anchor in the run chase to make an unbeaten 71, which contained eight boundaries and two sixes, to see the home side past the post.
"We'd started a bit lethargically, but that over from Rob really gave us the impetus to go on and win the game," said captain Spruce.
"We executed the chase well, too.
"Jono is batting superbly at the moment and he deserved to win us the game because it was a super innings he played.
"We now need to build on this win. I'm not concerned about us being involved in the relegation fight, but there will be some other teams looking over their shoulders now."
Kidsgrove all-rounder Richie Jervis conceded his side hadn't fulfilled their potential, but their hopes of making a late charge for the top two hadn't been damaged.
The weather-affected results elsewhere left Kidsgrove in sixth, albeit 49 points off the top two.
"We've got away with it to a degree, but we had a bad day at the office," he said.
"We had a chance to get Jono Whalley out in the first couple of overs, but we didn't take a run-out opportunity and it proved costly.
"There are some young players in the side and you have to accept there will be days when we don't perform.
"I still believe we can make a late run towards the promotion places, but we'll have to play a lot better to do that."