It's do or die for Aldershot captain Amir Hameed on Saturday as he prepares for the derby clash with Bagshot which could see one, both or neither relegated from an extremely tight division 2B.
Along with Sonning, both sides are tied on 187 points, although Aldershot occupy the final relegation spot, in eighth, by virtue of having won fewer matches. Indeed, there are six teams who could realistically take one of the three relegation spots.
But the omens don’t look good for Aldershot after they crashed to a fourth straight defeat at rock bottom Thatcham Town on Saturday when victory would have all but assured their survival.
Now, only a win batting first will guarantee their survival but, depending on other results, even a defeat with good bonus points might be sufficient.
Captain Hameed must go into the decider with Bagshot without No.1 all-rounder Hasitha De Silva, who is getting married, although paceman Bobby Gill makes a welcome return to the side.
“I was hoping for a relaxed game on the final day of the season but, realistically, it was never going to turn out that way,” Hameed said.
“We’ll have to fight for our win – and for our survival – which is how it should be.”
De Silva was one of Aldershot’s few highlights when the sides met at London Road in the reverse fixture in July, hitting two huge sixes and taking 3-41 as Matt Pettet’s Baggies ran out winners by six wickets.
“Hasitha has other things on his mind, but we’ll have Bobby back in the team and we will be stronger than this week,” Hameed said assured.
Another key man for Aldershot on Saturday is in-form Jack Bromley, who again led the way with 61 as the Shots posted an otherwise mediocre 194-6 from their 52 overs. Promoted second XI captain Andy Mudie chipped in with a steady 40.
But with a depleted bowling attack, Aldershot just couldn’t make inroads on the Thatcham attack as his plan of opening the spinners with the old ball backfired. Duncan Anslow offered late hope by taking two wickets but the home side always looked in control and cruised home in the 43rd over.
Eversley’s hopes of promotion from division one all but ended after they were beaten by eight wickets at fellow hopefuls Datchet.
Their total of 186-9 from 52 overs was never likely to be enough and now the Boars lie 17 points adrift of second place with bottom club Henley II left to visit.
Yateley picked up eight points in a mid-table draw against Marlow - Stuart Lipo’s unbeaten half-century helping them hold on at 191-9 in response to 236-8.
There was no such escape, however, for Fleet, whose miserable season hit an ultimate low when they were bowled out for just 37 by North Maidenhead on their way to a 227-run home defeat.
Defeat confirmed relegation for the Calthorpe Park side, who only just missed out on promotion last year.