Ottewell hands Derbyshire title
Steve Ottewell was the hero as he claimed the winning catch on the boundary to see Derbyshire to a tense six-wicket win over Kent in the ECB 50+ County Championship Final.
Chasing 183 to win, Kent needed seven from the last two deliveries with one wicket remaining when Kevin Masters launched a huge hit towards the long-off boundary.
With the ball seemingly destined to clear the ropes and send the game to the final delivery, Ottewell timed his intervention to perfection, snaffling the catch to crown Derbyshire champions.
Earlier in the day, Kent won the toss at the beautiful Wormsley Cricket Ground and put their opposition into bat, but it was the Derbyshire batsmen that progressed steadily, openers Richard Merriman and Ray McGuinness putting on 79 before the latter was trapped LBW by Chris Mendham for 39.
Derbyshire captain Dave Tee came to the crease off the back of some impressive batting in the earlier knockout rounds but he was soon back in the pavilion for just one off the bowling of Jim Phillips.
Neil Sparham joined Merriman and the pair put on 31 before they both fell in quick succession, Sparham for 24 and Merriman for 45. More quick wickets were soon taken by Kent, including two for returning opener Kevin Masters, to leave Derbyshire struggling on 134 for seven.
However, Ottewell (13*) and Mark Bellm (29*) put on an unbeaten partnership of 48 to finish on a respectable 182 for seven.
Glynn Gunning opened for Kent but he was unable to bring his form to the final, lbw off the bowling of Barry White for just three. Mark Taylor and Chris Swadkin both fell for one off the bowling of Ottewell and when the same bowler castled Dave Scoggins for 24, Kent found themselves struggling at 39 for four.
There was hope, though, as Jim Phillips and Nigel Keess steadied the ship and put on a partnership of 45.
Keess was then dismissed by Neil Sparham resulting in Masters joining Phillips to put on another 35 runs before Phillips was dismissed by Merriman.
Merriman, Tee and a run out by 12th man Clive Crocker left Kent on the brink at 148 for nine but Masters and Chris Mendham edged them closer to the Derbyshire total.
Requiring 10 off the last over to win, Masters gave them hope, adding four before hitting the penultimate ball of the innings high to the long-off boundary.
It would have carried for a six but Ottewell took the catch to hand Derbyshire the Brian Aspital Trophy.