Robinson breaks Notts hearts
Oliver Robinson was the hero after his unbeaten century helped Kent to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire in the final of the ECB Under-17 County Cup.
In a frenetic game which went down to the last ball, the Kent centurion was calmness personified as his side overhauled Nottinghamshire's 254 for eight, hitting the winning runs and bringing up a richly deserved ton at the very death.
The defeat was heartbreaking for Nottinghamshire who just 72 hours earlier had lost the County Championship to Middlesex in another last-ball thriller. They can take solace, however, in being arguably the best side in the land in this age group.
Just as they did in that match against Middlesex, Nottinghamshire were indebted to their lower order who ensured their side could post a challenging total.
After being inserted by Kent captain Fabien Cowdrey on a cloudy morning in Kibworth, Nottinghamshire's top-six failed to fire with Grant McCarthy's 36 from 89 balls the only score of note.
Fortunately for Nottinghamshire, their tail wagged to enable them to get past 250. George Bacon led the fightback with an entertaining 36 not out from just 21 balls which included the only six of the match.
Prabdip Sidhu scored a more sedate 32 while Adeel Shafique and Brett Hutton played their part too as Nottinghamshire gave themselves a chance of victory which seemed unlikely midway through their innings.
Kent's reply centred on two knocks - a patient half-century by England Under-19 opener Daniel Bell-Drummond and Robinson's fine century.
But Nottinghamshire were always in with a shout, particularly when Hutton, Bacon and Conor Scott took a wicket each to leave Kent 59 for three in the 13th over.
Bell-Drummond and Robinson battled through a potentially sticky period and added 58 runs before the former was stumped by Shafique off Sam Wood.
The wicket triggered a mini-collapse as Kent lost Lorne Burns and Tom Chapman in quick succession as they teetered on 133 for six midway through the 34th over.
Undettered, Robinson carried on with the job at hand and found useful allies in Matthew Greenwood and Jack Potter who contributed to partnerships of 46 and 43, the second of which came at better than a run a ball.
Potter's dismissal left Kent still needing 33 from 19 balls with just two wickets remaining and there was a further twist when Jack Robertson was run out in the final over.
But Robinson was not to be denied, hitting the winning runs off the final ball of the game and bringing up his hundred in the process.