BAT Sports and Longton through to Lord's
BAT Sports are through to the March 12 finals of the ECB National Indoor Championships for the second year running, joining Longton CC as the last of the quartet of qualifiers.
Beaten national finalists in 2005, BAT stormed through the west regional finals at Taunton, thrashing both Swindon and Dorset champions, Colehill, to reach the six-a-side showdown at Lord’s.
They beat Swindon by 76 runs in their semi-final after Richard Kenway (27) and Nigel Bungay (24) had eased BAT to 118 for five off 12 overs. Swindon struggled to lay a bat on Dan Goldstraw’s massive inswing and were skittled for 42.
Dave Banks took 2-8, with Dan Goldstraw (1-6), Dave Adams (1-9) and Ricky Rawlins (1-11) taking one wicket each.
With Nigel Woodruff taking 2-32, Devonians Cornwood were restricted to 88 for four in the opening semi-final at the Somerset Cricket Academy. The target proved comfortable for Colehill, who cruised home through Iain Griffiths (26) and John Powell (24).
But Colehill struggled to a modest 85 for four against BAT in the final, with Griffiths (36) and Powell (32) both undefeated.
The Wimborne side restricted BAT to 36 off the initial six overs, but the Southern Electric Premier League champions ran amok after that, with Kenway (26) and Rawlins (27) easing BAT home with two overs to spare.
The remaining regional finals at Derby saw Staffordshire outfit Longton come through, beating Pudsey Congs (Yorkshire) in the final.
Pudsey Congs made 72 for five, but went down to a four-wicket defeat as Longton reached 73 for two. The pair had seen off the challenge of Ilkeston and Rutland (Derbys) and Northumbria University respectively in their semis.
You can view the full National Finals programme, with details of the 2006 competition, below: