A half century from the evergreen Martin Schultz inspired a depleted London Maccabi Vale 1s to a 43-run victory over Bharat Olympians in the Middlesex Sunday League Division One.
Playing with only three recognised batsmen, LMV, who were missing record run-scorer Adam Brand showed character and determination to maintain their title hopes.
Schultz got the innings off to a great start with some powerful strokes.
Schultz and Alex Haffner put on 33 for the first wicket. No. 3 Dan Caplan, making his first team debut for the season, added valuable runs requested by carrying his bat whilst all around him fell.
Neil Lederman (15) came in at No. 5 and made a good start but once again got caught off a slower ball.
Gideon Gale was next in but was soon back in the hutch without facing following a misunderstanding with Caplan that led to a run out.
Only Andy Daniels troubled the scorers in the lower order. He added some vital runs before being bowled for 15.
Caplan finished unbeaten on 47 to leave the LMV bowlers with a decent total of 173 to defend.
In reply, Bharat Olympians moved to 33-0 before LMV captain Saul Weitzman produced a crucial break-through. He moved the ball away from the opener who got a thick edge that was well held by wicketkeeper Aviel Schwarz.
Weitzman made it two in two as the No. 3 batsman departed in identical fashion.
Lederman (2-22) accounted for the other opener and repeated Weitzman's heroics with a wicket with the following ball.
At drinks, Bharat Olympics had six wickets in hand and needed just under 100 for victory.
The ever-reliable Andy Landesberg answered LMV's prayers, taking a wicket in his first over. Landesburg went on to take another wicket in a spell of 2-26.
With the scoring ticking past the 100-mark, the LMV bowlers temporarily lost their discipline and gifted the Olympians 36 runs through extras.
Andy Daniels (2-31), who had opened the bowling without success, took a wicket immediately – with Schultz holding on to a fine tumbling catch at mid-wicket.
The momentum was now with LMV and it needed a moment of magic from 14-year-old Joe Nyman, the youngest-ever player to line-up for LMV 1sts, to steer them home. He started with a wicket maiden.
Nyman was followed by another youngster, Gideon Gale, who showed a safe pair of hands to hold on to a low chance at mid-off.
Nyman (2-3) changed ends and claimed a second wicket with Weitzman taking the catch running to his right.
Daniels returned for his third spell to seal the win.
LMV left the field reflecting on an excellent team effort in which Jon Daniels, Alex Haffer and Gale impressed in the field, along with Schwarz behind the stumps.