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National Club Championship hots up

Summer finally arrived yesterday as all 32 National Club Championship third-round matches were completed. There were some star performances with both bat and ball that lead to some close finishes, while other games were decidedly one-sided affairs.

Bath produced the most dominant display of the round as they beat South Wales Premier League Ynysygerwn by 294 runs. Helped by Tom Stayt (90), Tim Rouse (89) and Sam Mount (71), the home side amassed 373 for six from their 45 overs and then it was the turn of Jonathan Green, whose 6-10 from six overs helped dismiss the visitors for just 79 to book Bath’s place in the fourth round against Bristol.

Reigning champions York also enjoyed a comfortable victory in beating South Yorkshire League champions Treeton by 10 wickets. After scoring 243 for eight, the hosts must have been confident but York openers Jack Leaning (74) and Duncan Snell, who scored 148 from 125 balls, saw the Yorkshire Premier League side home with nearly seven overs to spare.

2012 semi finalists Bamford Fieldhouse, who York beat last season, also had a 10-wicket win after dismissing hosts Westhoughton of the Bolton League for just 86 thanks to Jean Pierre Lee's 5-25, with Bamford Fieldhouse reaching their target in less than 20 overs.

One of the standout bowling performances of the day was from Chris Ashling of Bowdon as his figures of 4-7 from nine overs helped Cheshire County Premier League side to a seven-wicket win over Lancashire County League leaders Denton West.

South Northumberland's bowlers enjoyed themselves as they dismissed fellow North East Premier League side Hetton Lyons for just 67. Stephen Humble starred with 4-15 from eight overs as South Northumberland won by six wickets.

Henry Bartlett of Wombourne took 5-42 as they overcame Birmingham & District League side Kidderminster Victoria. The Division One leaders beat their Premier League rivals by 44 runs thanks also to Tom Brown (84) and Michael Hill (78), who helped the hosts to 252 for three before dismissing Kidderminster for 208 despite opener Craig Wood scoring 100.

Michael Thomas of Tamworth produced the all-round performance of the day as his side beat Derbyshire Premier League high-flyers Ockbrook & Borrowash by five wickets. Thomas first weighed in with figures of 4-36 as Ockbrook & Borrowash were restricted to 187 for eight from their 45 overs before opening for the Birmingham & District Division Three side and scoring 108 in their total of 191 for five.

Tamworth continued to upset the odds by beating their third Premier League side in a row and progressing to round four when they will face 2011 champions Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury chased down 230 with the loss of just four wickets as Neston posted a challenging total thanks to captain David Hurst's 108, but the Leach brothers Steve (69) and Joe (45 not out) saw the Shropshire side home with five overs to spare.

Two centurions did the damage for Swardeston as they won their 'top-of-the-table' East Anglian Premier League clash against 2011 National Club Championship runners-up Cambridge Granta by 107 runs. Stephen Gray (112 from 110 balls) and Richard Sims (104 not out from 88 balls) helped the hosts to 281 for four. Granta were then bowled out for 174.

Bilal Shafayat, pictured, helped West Indian Cavaliers to a 170-run win against Derbyshire Premier League champions Sandiacre Town. The Cavaliers were struggling at 40 for four but ex-Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire player Shafayat, who scored 137 from just 110 balls, shared a fifth-wicket partnership with Dominic Williamson (49) of 148 runs as they were the only two batsmen to reach double-figures. In reply, the Sandiacre Town batsmen also struggled and only one player scored more than five as they were dismissed for just 68.

The Cavaliers will play fellow Nottinghamshire Premier League side Cuckney in round four as they too struggled for runs and were thankful for the performance of Nick Langford (119) as they were dismissed for 192 before bowling out Swarkestone for 98.

Peterborough Town squeezed home by one wicket as tail-ender Joe Dowborn hit a six with two balls remaining to beat Saffron Walden when chasing only 137 for victory.

2012 semi-finalists Havant also had a close finish as they beat Sussex Premier League side Roffey by just five runs. Havant scored 181 thanks to an unbeaten 93 from opener Peter Hopson before dismissing their hosts for 176 with one ball remaining.

Kendal's tail held their nerve as they secured a two-wicket win against reigning Liverpool & District Premier League champions Lytham. Chasing the visitors’ 221 they reached their target with four balls remaining.

For a full list of the results from round three, please go to http://ecb.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/results.asp. The fourth round will take place on Sunday 23 June.

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