Burnham Sports could win promotion to the T Rippon Premier League on Saturday but look like being without Jamie Hamilton, their captain, for the rest of the season.
Hamilton tore a calf muscle while playing in a tour game, as a guest for another club, at the end of last week.
The all-rounder, who had scored a brilliant unbeaten century for Sports just days earlier, is on crutches and facing a battle to play again before the end of the summer.
“I hit a ball through mid-wicket and then felt a searing pain after setting off to run,” Hamilton said. “I’m struggling to walk at the moment but am still hoping to play in our final game (on August 30) but that is probably being optimistic.”
Hamilton was a frustrated spectator at Millfields last week as his team lost a compelling match at home to Rankins by two runs after being set 223 to win.
Despite that agonising defeat, Sports moved a step closer to going up because Rettendon, who began the day third in the table, suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Rayleigh, who have now jumped above them.
Burnham require 36 points from their final three games to guarantee promotion, with 78 available.
If they win away to Ingatestone on Saturday, and Rayleigh lose at home to Bentley seconds, then they will return to the top league after an absence of ten years.
“It’s ours to give away now but we’ve got to finish the job off,” Hamilton said.
“After Ingatestone, we finish off with games against Goresbrook, who are the best team in the league, and then Rayleigh, who are still chasing us, so nobody should be complacent.”