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Highgate face an historic weekend

PUBLISHED: 16:58 01 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 07 September 2010

HIGHGATE have the chance to make history this weekend as they bid to seal promotion to Division Two for the first time ever. The Crouch End club s 41-run victory over Uxbridge on Saturday left them in the all-important second promotion spot going into the

HIGHGATE have the chance to make history this weekend as they bid to seal promotion to Division Two for the first time ever.

The Crouch End club's 41-run victory over Uxbridge on Saturday left them in the all-important second promotion spot going into the final weekend of the campaign, and they now face judgment day as Bessborough prepare to visit Shepherds Cot.

Highgate entered the Middlesex County League eight years ago, becoming the first team to win promotion from the Middlesex Championship on merit in 2002, and they have been sitting in Division Three ever since.

"It would be fantastic to see Highgate in Division Two," said chairman Simon Battersby, who has been involved with the club since the 1980s. "It's something that we've dreamed of for a long time and we've been very ambitious in trying to get there.

"If we can get the result that we need then we'll be at the highest level that this club has ever played at. It could be a really memorable day for this club."

Craig Gourlay's side only need a four-point winning draw to guarantee their place in Division Two, and visiting Bessborough lie a lowly seventh after winning just four of their 17 league fixtures thus far. Highgate, meanwhile, go into their pivotal clash in fine form, having gone unbeaten in 11 games since June 12.

Highgate clinched a winning draw at Bessborough earlier in the season and still have a chance of winning the division but need to better the result of leaders Hornsey on Saturday.

This position was achieved with a vital victory at Uxbridge at the weekend. Gourlay lost the toss and was asked to bat, and the visitors initially struggled to handle the home side's overseas all-rounder Rahul Panta, finding themselves 40-5 after 12 overs.

Graeme Jenkins and Matt Holly stabilised the innings and added around 100 for the sixth wicket, with Holly (48) falling two runs short of a deserved half century while Jenkins top scored with 79 as Highgate declared on 205-9 after their allotted 55 overs.

Panta was quickly out of the blocks again after tea, flaying the ball to all parts of the ground as Uxbridge raced to 45 without loss off the first four overs.

However, Highgate made the most of their chances when they came and excellent catches won the match. All 10 of Uxbridge's wickets fell to left-arm spin as skipper Gourlay took 6-64 and Syed Karrar took 4-60, skittling the home side for 164 with one and a half overs to spare.

l NORTH London (81-5) are ninth after being restricted to a single point in their draw with Barnet Bs (155).


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