London Maccabi Vale's title hopes took a near terminal blow when they went down to a six wicket defeat to rivals MTSSC in the Middlesex Sunday League Division One.
Vale had batted reasonably well from the start, though they slowed down during the innings to finish with 172 from 40 overs. John Galloway was the highest scoring batsman for Vale, registering 30 before being caught out.
The game was closer than the final result suggested though, with Vale's bowling posing problems for MTSCC, who were two points ahead of their rivals going into the clash. Two wickets from captain Saul Weitzman in quick succession put them into a strong position, with their opponents behind the run rate at the half way point, and Raffi Polatinski posing questions of MTSCC with economical bowling, restricting them to 25 runs from 8 overs.
However an inspired performance from an MTSCC batsman won the game, taking 92 to crush Vale's hopes with six wickets to spare.
Though there are two rounds of the season still to play and six points adrift, Weitzman concedes that his team won't win the league as they are the only side to have stopped their title rivals winning all season.
"Although we are upset to lose, we've done amazingly well with a half strength team throughout the season to get this close to winning the league," he said.
"In the end neither the batting or bowling was good enough in the final game."