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Cuckney and Bridgwater progress

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The Kingfisher Beer Cup continues to try and dodge the showers, with the Group Finals once again affected by rain yesterday as only two of the remaining fives ties were completed.

Of the two matches that did happen, Cuckney CC, current leaders of the Nottinghamshire Premier League, hosted Hanging Heaton CC of the Bradford League, winning by 75 runs to book their place in Round Five.

Hanging Heaton won the toss and opted to bowl - a decision that looked inspired when they bogged down the Cuckney opening batsmen; Rob McFarlane again bowled well for the Yorkshire side by taking two early wickets.

Yet the game swung in favour of the Nottinghamshire team thanks to William Root, who hit a maiden century for his new club after moving from Sheffield Collegiate CC this season.

His 101 not out from just 89 balls included five sixes and was the main reason Cuckney were able to get to 188 for seven from 45 overs.

In reply, Hanging Heaton never got going as only one batsman made more than 20.

The introduction of Will Butler brought a swift end to the Hanging Heaton innings, however, with the captain’s 5-24 helping dismiss the visitors for 113.

Cuckney subsequently earned a trip to Lancashire, where they will play Chorley CC in the fifth round.

In the other match that managed to beat the weather, Bridgwater CC overcame Bovey Tracey CC, leaders of the Devon Premier League, after their first attempt last weekend was washed out at tea.

Bovey Tracey put the hosts into bat, but the Somerset side amassed 249 for eight, Stuart Butt hitting a steady 54 and ex-county player Stefan Jones smashing a quick 64 off just 38 balls, including five sixes.

Neil Hancock did his best to slow the onslaught, claiming 4-45 from nine overs.

In reply, the visitors were always struggling to keep up with the required run-rate and lost wickets regularly, firstly thanks to opening bowler Chris Skidmore, who claimed 3-18 from nine overs.

Jones did the rest of the damage by also helping himself to three scalps, with Charlie Carter’s impressive 60-ball 75 not out proving in vain; he ran out of partners and Bovey Tracey ended up being dismissed for 163.

Bridgwater now face a tough away trip to Southern Premier League runaway leaders South Wilts CC.

The remaining three matches, York v Blaydon, West Indian Cavaliers v Ockbrook & Borrowash and Spencer v Havant, were all called off before play began due to heavy overnight rain and will try for a third time to complete their Group Finals on Sunday July 1.

The fifth round will be played on Sunday July 8.