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Bromley edge past Blackheath

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Two nail-biting finishes in Kent saw 2007 winners Bromley and Bickley Park squeeze through in the third round of the ECB National Club Championship.

On an absolutely gorgeous day current Kent Premier League Champions Bromley were looking to continue their good record in the National Club Championship having been runners-up at Lord's in 2006 and champs a year later. They played host to Blackheath, who were relegated from the Kent Premier Division at the end of last season.

Added spice in this match saw Ruel Brathwaite playing for the visitors having pouched the winning catch for Bromley on the last ball of the final against Kibworth in 2007.

Bromley, with only three 1st XI regulars available, batted first. Skipper James Butterfill (31) got them off to a quick start but from 70 for two things quickly deteriorated. Brathwaite had enjoyed very limited success opening the bowling picking up 1-42 but the introduction of Jahid Ahmed brought dramatic results as he took 6-7 as Bromley were hustled out in 25.3 overs for 121.

In reply, Butterfill opened the bowling himself and using spin from both ends cast a spell over the Blackheath batting. Butterfill took 4-31 but Blackheath looked in control - but could not cope with the tension of a low-scoring run chase and the tail folded leaving Bromley to squeeze home by three runs.

At Lordswood, visitors Bickley Park batted first and after losing five early wickets were able to recover to the riches of 215. Lordswood looked well placed but also found themselves unable to close out victory and fell three runs short of their target.

Bickley Park will now travel to Eastbourne for the Group 16 Final as The Mote found the delights of watching England play in the World Cup in South Africa more tempting than playing in the last 64 of the National Club Championship and conceded their tie to Eastbourne - perhaps they now question the decision they made.

Richmond travelled to Preston Nomads and James Wood (107) scored a tremendous century as wickets fell at the other end; Owen Kernan's 6-24 being a key to Richmond being dismissed for 181.

When Oliver Gatting (6) was out with the score on 30 for one, Richmond must have hoped that further inroads would follow quickly but Stuart Faith (62) was joined by Jeremy Green (47 not out) as they took the score to 121 for two. When Rob Wakeford then entered the fray and scored a rapid 42 not out they knocked off the runs in 29 overs as they romped to an eight-wicket win.

Doncaster Town, having had to make three attempts to complete their second Round tie with Barnsley, entertained Sandiacre Town, who were semi-finalists in 2008. Sandiacre batted first and with their openers putting on 80 had Doncaster worried - but a middle-order collapse saw the score quickly become 129 for six.

Sandiacre though have a reputation for being battlers and recovered to 196 before being bowled out in the last over. This total looked inadequate as Doncaster set about their chase and the Yorkshire side batted steadily throughout an impressive chase as they closed out a victory by six wickets with seven overs to spare.

Wanstead hosted Brondesbury in Group 13 but the hoome side never got started as they were hustled out for 88 in 21 overs by their opponents from Middlesex. After losing Keith Muller cheaply, James Overy (58 not out) and Adam Sargent (19 not out) took Brondesbury to a nine-wicket victory in 16.4 overs.

At South Woodford, Hornsey won the toss and elected to field. South Woodford's captain, Rizwan Akram, scored 40 before being caught behind. Nick Browne continued his excellent season with a stylish 62, only to be upstaged by his brother Richard, who hit a match-winning innings of 78, which included 10 fours and three sixes.

A cameo 20 from nine balls by James Malin coming in at the fall of the eighth wicket helped South Woodford reach 287 for eight in their 45 overs. In reply, despite hitting 16 from the first over, Hornsey never got to grips with required run rate of over a run a ball as South Woodford steadily took their wickets. A late flurry from tail-enders Phil Holbrook (32 not out) and Paul Plumbley (14) made Hornsey's score respectable, but South Woodford finished clear winners by 127 runs.

Bromley will now travel to South Woodford for the Group 14 Final with the winners progressing to the National Stage of the competition. This should be an interesting tie as both clubs have totalled over 300 in previous matches in this season’s competition with South Woodford’s 371 for four against Enfield setting the standard.

LoughbroughTown progressed into the Group 3 Final following a comfortable 57-run win away to Wollaton Park. Batting first on a tricky wicket Town made an impressive 223 for nine. The backbone of the innings was a fifth-wicket stand of 132 between Loughborough skipper Dips Patel (89) and Kyle Saddington (69). The pair came together when Wollaton’s Alex King took two wickets in two balls making the score 65 for four. Chasing runs towards the end of the innings produced a clatter of wickets but a cameo innings of 12 from Ollie Freckingham helped Loughborough reach 223 for nine.

Wollaton’s run chase was well on course at 60 for two after 14 overs as they were in a slightly better position than Town had been at the same point in the innings. At this stage another wicket fell and things got better for the home side as the fourth wicket stand between Tim Young and Wollaton captain Ed Savill reached 54. It looked as it they were steering Wollaton into a strong position when Kyle Saddington got the breakthrough that Town were looking for.

Saddington had Young caught behind for 31. Although Savill went on to top score with 41, Wollaton’s challenge subsided as the last six batsmen only managed 18 runs between them. Wollaton were all out for 166 in 41.5 overs. Rhoul Sharma was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-27 from 7.5 overs.

In Group 5 Grappenhall entertained Eagley at Broad Lane on a hot afternoon. Winning the toss the home team elected to bat first, and posted a challenging total of 253 for eight. Main contributions in this were from Ian Wright who made a solid 66, and mid-order bat Will Sharp with 42. All the other batsmen got in, but no one else really went on to make a big score. In response Eagley made a steady start with an opening partnership of 86, with opener M Ward making an aggressive half century, but no one else made a significant contribution other then J Cooper with 30 down the order.

Opening bowler Gaz Burns bowled particularly well but with little reward, but it was the introduction of seventeen year old slow left arm Adam Roylance which turned the match on its head! He finished his nine-over spell taking 7-51, which was quite a remarkable achievement. Despite losing wickets regularly, Eagley never gave up, eventually finishing up with a creditable 215 all out. Grappenhall will now travel to Bamford Fieldhouse in the Group 5 Final after the Saddleworth League club’s win at Morecambe.

In Group 7 there was a thrilling encounter at Stone where Kidderminster Victoria were the visitors. Kidderminster lost an early wicket before Jon Smith (66) and Andrew Kimberlin (79) enjoyed a partnership of 146 to set their side on the way to a big total. Jonathan Wright weighed in with a rapid 57 not out as the visitors totalled 272 for five. Stone’s reply followed a similar pattern with an early wicket followed by Shaun Jenkinson (61) and Richard Harvey (74) putting on 135 together.

However, four quick wickets reduced the hosts to 156 for five and repair work was seriously required. Russell Ballard (24) and Jonathan McCredie (33) then added 67 before they both fell within seven runs of each other. Joseph Smith was then joined by James Ecclestone, who hit 34 off only 22 balls as Stone squeezed home by three wickets with one ball to spare. Stone will now travel to meet the winners of next week’s match between Alderley Edge and Walmley.

At Cambridge Granta, Giles Ecclestone of Saffron Walden completed his second consecutive century (110 - 100 coming off just 87 balls) following his 155 versus Potters Bar in the second round. He was ably supported by Tom George (88) and Charlie Knightley (43). Jason Coleman was the most successful Granta bowler returning figures of 3-47 off his nine overs. In reply Granta got off to a flyer - 74 from 10 overs. Taking pace off the ball proved a major factor in slowing the Granta run rate and with 10 overs remaining 100 runs were required. Although Granta chased all the way they came up 20 short. Mark Bott (67), Craig Park (52) (finally falling to a superb diving catch by Tom Price on the boundary) and Jason Coleman (47 not out) were the main contributors.

Teddington took on Horsham in the beautiful surroundings of Bushy Park. The hosts were taking on their second Sussex opponents in consecutive rounds, but this time faced a stiffer test against the side currently second in the Sussex Premier League. On a hot day, home skipper James Wade won the toss and opted to bat first, but James Keightley and James Fear found no easy early pickings as Matt Barry and James Thorpe restricted the openers to 70 off the first 15 overs.

A change of bowling saw Paul Williams make the breakthrough with the score on 75, but MCC Young Cricketer Andrew Clarke helped up the run rate with a brisk 22 off 24 balls before hitting a return catch. Keightley then ran himself out to leave two new men at the crease. However, this didn't affect the Teddington scoring as Wade made 34 off 31, Ben Duncan 56 off 54 and Charl Malan an unbeaten 38 off 30, as Teddington plundered 119 runs off the last 15 overs to set a formidable target of 285 for victory.

Elliott Hannah picked up the early wicket of Craig Gallagher in the sixth over, but James Johnson and Devon Endersby then played patiently, at times driving beautifully. Eventually the Horsham batsmen wilted in the heat: Johnson fell to Charl Malan with the score on 91, and then four further wickets fell with the score stuck on 93, and another on 94; 85 for one off 20 overs had become 98 for seven off 25 and Horsham couldn't cope with the off-spin of Nish Patel (5-21) and Malan (4-14). Teddington romping to victory by 176 runs against the 2005 champions.

Fourth round draw:

ECB National Club Championship - fourth round fixtures (26 KB)