Two regionals line up
The race for a final spot at Lord’s is hotting up in the ECB Indoor Six-a-Side Championship, with the line-up for two of the regional play-off finals now confirmed.
Latest tournament snapshot
Sheffield Hallam University, runners-up in last year’s National Finals, won the Yorkshire Finals for the second year running winning all four matches in a five-team round-robin tournament.
Fenner, Undercliffe, Hatfield Town and Azaad CC were the other competing teams finishing in the final table in that order. Sheffield Hallam University now play the Lincolnshire champions, Skegness, in a play-off match on Sunday February 21 for the right to appear in the Regional Final at Derby the following week.
Biggleswade Town (Bedfordshire) v Godmanchester Town (Huntingdonshire)
Godmanchester batted first and amassed a massive total of 185 for three. To give them credit, Biggleswade posted 141 for five in reply, but they had really left themselves too much to do to overhaul the Huntingdonshire side’s score.
Godmanchester will next play in the Regional Final at Edgbaston on Sunday February 28.
Falkland (Berkshire) v New Milton (Hampshire)
Falkland batted first and scored 133 for four. New Milton in reply were dismissed for 89; therefore Falkland will be playing in the Regional Final at Taunton.
Niton (Isle of Wight) v Poole Town (Dorset)
Poole Town travelled to Isle of Wight and returned victorious as they beat Niton in the play-off match. Poole will now play in the Taunton Regional Final on Sunday.
Harrow St Mary’s (Middlesex) v Ware (Hertfordshire)
Ware were unable to field a side so conceded the tie to Harrow St Mary’s.
Hadleigh (Suffolk) v Fives & Heronians (Essex)
Both sides found the venue to be a different size to the ones that they usually play in. For Hadleigh it was a new experience to play with unlimited height to the hall and Fives & Heronians found the hall much narrower than they are used to.
Despite having to make these readjustments to their game both teams adapted to the conditions well and a keen contest ensued. Fives & Heronians batted first and scored 115 for four, a score which Hadleigh found to be too much for them as they were dismissed for 68.
Fives & Heronians will now move on to the Regional Final at Canterbury.
Crawley (Sussex) v Betteshanger (Kent)
Betteshanger defeated Crawley and now play in the Regional Finals to be held at Canterbury on Sunday February 21.
Winning the toss, Bettes skipper Derek Towe invited Crawley to bat first and the action began with a dropped catch in the first over, a difficult chance but one that should have been taken. Although the Crawley batsmen began well with some confident running, they could not break the shackles off some very accurate bowling.
They lost wickets at crucial times and the Bettes bowlers were well supported in the field. The catching improved with Michael McNicholas taking two (to make up for the one he dropped at the start) and two excellent run outs by Towe left the Crawley total 98 all out off 11 overs.
In reply, openers Martin Cheesman and Liam Collins batted superbly in the face of some wayward but hostile bowling and when both retired on 25 in the sixth over Bettes were well on the way victory. The winning runs from the bat of Towe came in the eighth over.
Ynystawe (Wales) v South Wilts (Wiltshire)
South Wilts bowed out with a 25-run defeat to Welsh champions Ynystawe at the Penlon Leisure Centre in Swansea. Put into bat Ynystawe relied much upon opener Beaseley’s hard hit 52 not out, reaching a competitive 126 from their 12 overs.
At 20 without loss in the second over Wiltshire's champions appeared comfortable. However the quick loss of three key wickets really applied the brakes and with 60 needed from the last three overs all seemed lost.
Tom Pearce with 22 and last man out Sam Pittman (29) made the home side have a few uneasy moments before closing out the game in the 11th over.
Ynystawe will move on to the Regional Final at Taunton.
Canterbury –February 21
2:00pm - Harrow St Mary’s v MK Azad or Pyrford
3:15pm - Fives & Heronians v Betteshanger
Final - 4:45pm
Taunton –February 21
4:30pm - Poole Town v Ynystawe
5:45pm - Falkland v Sampford Arundel
Final - 7:15pm