SOUTH Wilts will be hoping it is third time lucky this weekend, when they travel to reigning champions St Cross, writes ROY HONEYBONE.

For the second week running the Bemerton-based side saw their game washed out, this time away at home to the Hampshire Academy last Saturday.

The following day, some of the South Wilts players were in action for Wiltshire at the same venue in the final group games of the Unicorns T20 at home to Dorset.

The home side still had an outside chance of making the finals, but Dorset held the upper hand.

However, Wiltshire could catch them if they were able to inflict two defeats on the day.

For a while it looked as though Wiltshire may be beaten by the weather, but eventually the umpires signalled that the first game could begin at 12:30pm.

The time lost to the weather meant that each side would now bat for just 13 overs in the first game.

It was not looking good for Wiltshire at 40-5, but Neil Clark (32 three sixes) and Brad Dawson 19 not out (two sixes) added 46 runs for the sixth wicket.

Bradley Currie had been Dorset’s most effective bowler with 3-13 from his three overs.

Wiltshire closed on 88-6.

The Dorset reply progressed steadily, but the first three batsmen fell to catches from wicketkeeper and South Wilts man Tom Morton.

The experienced Tahir Afridi caused problems throughout the innings finishing with 4-13.

Skipper Ed Young and Jake Goodwin each held two catches.

When Jake Goodwin caught Alex Eckland it was the result of a moment of magic from Neil Clark.

Racing to catch the ball as it was heading for a mighty six Clark had the presence of mind to leap as he took the catch and throw it to Goodwin before tumbling over the boundary.

Wiltshire managed to contain Dorset who finished with 83-8 from their 13 overs.

A hard earned victory and two precious points for Wiltshire.

This meant that everything was now to be decided in the final game.

Although victory would bring Wiltshire level on points with Dorset the eventual winners would be decided by net run rate over the eight games each team would have played.

Wiltshire won the toss and opted to field first.

Dorset started positively with Sam Young 27 and Lewis McManus 22 leading the way.

The only other batsman to get past 20 was the experienced Max Waller 25.

South Wilts' Arthur Godsal took 3-20 with two wickets in the final over.

There were two wickets each for Ed Young and Tahir Afridi as Dorset were eventually bowled out for 127 with three balls left.

Someone who understood the complicated mathematics suggested that in order to win a place in the finals Wiltshire would need to score the runs in just 15.5 overs.

Wiltshire found themselves in trouble with three wickets lost for just seven runs.

Ed Young 23 and Jake Lintott 25 got them back on track and Dawson, Clark, Afridi and Godsal all got into double figures to push the score along.

The pressure probably caused the players to make the occasional rash judgement as wickets tumbled and made the task steadily harder.

Eventually Wiltshire were dismissed in 15.2 overs for 113 after having put up a brave fight on the day.

Currie, Waller and McCoy took two wickets each with three players run out and one wicket for Jigar Naik.

Ironically the final wicket to fall saw Arthur Godsal fall to another excellent catch on the day.

He had launched a splendid shot that was sailing over the boundary, but Sam Young had obviously taken note of Neil Clark’s fielding prowess as he leapt in the air to take the catch and throw the ball to Jigar Naik before landing outside the boundary.

Wiltshire will play their first match in the Unicorns County Championship Western Division against Cheshire at Chester Broughton Hall from Sunday to Tuesday (11am).

South Wilts trio Luke Evans, will Harries and Tom Moron are included in the squad

Wiltshire will travel to Aston Rowant for their Minor Counties Trophy quarter-finals clash with Oxfordshire on June 30 (11am).

Berkshire will face Cornwall Falkland on the same day, with the winners at home to either Wiltshire or Oxfordshire in the semi-finals on August 11.

Lincolnshire, who ousted holders Cheshire in the second round, staging their quarter-final against Cumberland at Bourne, while Staffordshire will take on Cheshire at Knypersley.