Ormskirk squeeze through
On a day short of big totals but not short on drama a couple of Kingfisher Beer Cup Group Finals stood out in Lancashire and Middlesex.
In the North West, the Group 5 Final between Ormskirk and Northern went down to the wire after Ormskirk won the toss and chose to bat.
They put on a solid if not spectacular 195 for five from their 45 overs, helped by 67 from opener Matthew Glayzer and some quick hitting at the end of the innings by John Armstrong, who scored 43 not out from 36 balls.
In reply Northern, who are currently second in the Liverpool & District Premier League, looked comfortable at 126 for three and 147 for five, but tight bowling from Ian Robinson, who finished with 4-19 from his nine overs, kept the pressure on.
Nicky Caunce and Tomas Sephton, who is this season’s leading wicket-taker in the Kingfisher Beer Cup, moved the score onto 190 for seven but the run out of latter for 23 by Chris Smith was immediately followed by Caunce edging behind to Gary Knight off the bowling of Robinson to leave Northern needing three runs to win.
Stephen Cole hit two of the required runs to make to scores level but was then caught by Smith off the bowling of Michael Taylor to give Ormskirk the win by virtue of losing fewer wickets.
Ealing were involved in their second close match in the space of two weeks but this time came up short against fellow Middlesex County Cricket League side Teddington in the Group 15 Final.
Ealing chose to bowl first and the hosts batted carefully in difficult conditions to reach 172 all out from their 45 overs. James Fear top scored with 50 while Chris Peploe was the pick of the Ealing bowlers with 3-29.
In reply Ealing appeared to be cruising to victory thanks to some excellent batting from Patrick Fallis (58) and Anand Ashok (37) helping the visitors score to 144 for four.
But Teddington bowlers Duncan Wood (3-35) and Frankie Brown (3-23) had other ideas as they regularly took wickets heaping pressure on the Ealing tail.
Reduced to 155 for nine, Raminder Singh struck two four to move his side within four runs of victory but was then bowled by returning opening bowler Charles Hopkins to leave Ealing three runs short of their target, bowled out for 169 with three balls remaining.
Two big innings stood out in East Anglia as Great Witchingham hosted Brentwood in the Group 13 Final.
The East Anglian Premier League side batted first and the fact they managed to post a score of 161 for nine was mainly down to opener Sam Arthurton’s 94 as only two other Great Witchingham batsmen reached double figures.
In reply Brentwood laid into the home side’s bowling attack and Aaron West hit a magnificent 101 from just 52 balls as the visitors reached their target with the loss of one wicket from just 15.3 overs.
Elsewhere Banbury’s fine run in the competition came to an end as they were beaten by Birmingham & District Premier League side Barnt Green in the Group 12 Final.
Set 192 for victory, the visitors from the Home Counties Premier League had a mid-order collapse and fell 46 runs short being bowled out for 145.
Chorley enjoyed a comfortable win in the Group 4 Final as they dismissed hosts and fellow Northern Premier League side Blackpool for just 90, Billy Smith taking 3-16 from his nine overs in their 7 wicket victory.
Sussex Premier League leaders Hastings & St Leonards Priory came unstuck against Tunbridge Wells although the hosts from the Kent Premier League, who are yet to register a league win this season, tried their hardest to allow their visitors back into the game as Hastings made 212 after being 157 for eight, Tunbridge Wells reaching their target with three wickets in hand.
Kidderminster Victoria beat Birmingham & District Premier League leaders Walsall by 49 runs, bowling the visitors out for just 98 as they chased a target of 147 for seven in a rain affected 33 overs per side match.