MIDDLESEX COUNTY PREMIER CRICKET LEAGUE: Brondesbury 247-6 (4pts) drew with Eastcote 235-9 (1pt)
Inspired bowling at the death by Brondesbury left Eastcote with a only a point to show for their efforts at Southill Lane from a game they looked favourites to win for most of their innings.
The hosts seemed to have survived a potentially game-deciding moment, dropping Ben Claypole who went on to make an unbeaten century, as their own Tom Scollay posted his third three-figure score of the season in only his ninth innings.
With nine overs to go they needed a very achievable 52 runs with six wickets in hand but suddenly wickets began to tumble and in the end, with nine men down and the injured Sachin Gulvady at the other end, Chris Coleman decided a losing draw was the best Eastcote could hope for.
At the half-way point of the season Eastcote's early promise has faded significantly and the team has now gone six games without a win.
Chris Coleman invited Brondesbury to bat and they pushed steadily along through openers Rob Lynch (33) and Richard Rawlings (32), who took the total to 47 before the latter was removed by Paul Metcalfe (1-53).
That brought Claypole to the crease and much to Eastcote's chagrin he was dropped on 20 and the error was doubly calamitous because the ball also split open Gulvady's second finger.
With support from Ed Crowther (29) and others Claypole punished the home side, scoring a formidable 127 not out as Brondesbury posted 247 for six declared in 60 overs.
Mark Collier (2-62), Jivan Lotay (2-66) and Alan Coleman (1-59) chipped in with the other wickets.
Scollay and Lotay set off brightly, seeing off the early pacemen and taking the score to 77 before the latter went for 31 to herald the start of the tea interval.
After the break the home side faltered as Phil Wise (2) and Ed Stolle (0) also fell as Eastcote slid to 108 for three.
However, when Chris Coleman arrived at the wicket things began to look very different.
A fine partnership ensued, with Scollay playing with panache and skill on his way to a magnificent 115 that was only brought to an end by a remarkable catch from Tom Simpson.
Aussie Scollay now has 416 runs under his belt at an average of 46 yet incredibly none of his hundreds has resulted in a win for his side.
The target came steadily into range and even the loss of Scollay did not seem to present too much of a problem with Eastcote in command at
196 for four, with 52 required at under six an over. Unfortunately the hosts stuttered as wickets tumbled at the opposite end to Chris Coleman - five falling for 30 runs - as Brondesbury rallied impressively.
When Paul Metcalfe was bowled by a real corker from man of the match Claypole (4-34) the chance of victory had gone because the skipper had only the injured Gulvady, batting with one glove and three stitches in his hand, for company.
A fine day's cricket ended with Chris Coleman on 52 not out as East-cote at least banked their first point in three games.