SOUTH Wilts second team pair Tom Pearce and Joe Cranch have written themselves into the Southern League record books as they compiling the highest ever partnership in Division Two, writes STEPHEN HATCHER.

They shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 319 as Pearce hit 109 (16 fours) and Cranch an unbeaten 185 (two sixes and 26 fours) as South Wilts piled up 327-2 before dismissing visiting Langley Manor for 142.

They started the day needing seven points to avoid relegation and ended halfway up the table in sixth which was great as the Rob Pittman's side contained nine players who have come through the junior ranks.

Last Saturday, South Wilts second opted to bat first on an excellent end of season pitch prepared by Tim Cowley and James Wade.

Within the course of single figure deliveries the home side were rocked as two wickets fell with just eight runs on the board.

The good news however, was that these would be the last wickets to fall until nearly 30 minutes after the tea interval as Joe Cranch and Tom Pearce, this young team's two longest serving members, put together their record breaking divisional partnership.

Cranch, whose presence, style and attitude have been so prominent since he moved down from the first Xl and finished with 492 runs in seven innings averaging 82 in the second half of the season.

His innings saw him hit quality strokes on both sides of the wicket.

Pearce (109 not out), reliable, dedicated and an utterly vital all round component of this team batted with more freedom than for some time, relishing the challenge, and this,combined with his excellent stroke selection and running between the wickets, served to take South Wilts almost certainly out of reach at 327-2.

Langley Manor understandably deflated and chasing a rain reduced target of 301 from 45 overs, started in attacking fashion, but once Matt Burton, whose 10 completed overs yielded figures of 5-50, broke through wickets began to tumble at consistent intervals, and backed up by Stephen Booth (3-11) whose bowling is now being reflected in his figures, Manor were dismissed for 142.