Quartet progress in Kingfisher Beer Cup
The inclement weather disrupted another round of Kingfisher Beer Cup matches yesterday, although four teams were still able to book their place in the quarter-finals.
The first of the matches to beat the showers was York v Ockbrook & Borrowash, with the Yorkshire Premier League side able to host a fixture after weeks of rain.
The hosts decided to bat first against their Derbyshire Premier League visitors and the opening pair of Duncan Snell and Liam McKendry put on 60 for the first wicket before Gareth Young forced an edge off McKendry, who was caught behind by Ockbrook & Borrowash wicketkeeper Jonathan Guthrie.
This wicket was followed with further successes as 60 for one became 101 for five, with Young and Liam Wharton taking two wickets each. This brought together Simon Lambert and Marcus Wood and the pair put on 67 runs for the sixth wicket. Lambert fell for 40 but Wood was joined by Tom Pringle to provide some impetus to the end of the York innings as the home side finished on 215 for eight from 45 overs.
In reply, Ockbrook & Borrowash got off to a disastrous start, losing openers Matthew Cassar and Guthrie for ducks, both off the bowling of Snell.
This brought Alistair Dixon and Ockbrook & Borrowash captain Jake Needham to the crease and they stabilised the innings before the former Derbyshire player was caught behind by Steve Crossley, one of five dismissals for the York wicketkeeper.
Dixon continued to bat sensibly but partners at the other end departed at regular intervals. Only one other Ockbrook & Borrowash batsman managed to reach double figures as the visitors were dismissed for just 93, Dixon stranded on 39 not out as York booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 122-run victory.
In a far closer encounter, two Premier League leaders went head to head as South Wilts entertained Bridgwater. The hosts, from the Southern Premier League, won the toss and batted first, which looked to be an error as Bridgwater opening bowler Ian Bishop reduced South Wilts to five for three, removing captain Tom Morton, Stephen Riddle and Eddie Abel.
It was left to Jack Mynott and James Hayward to restore some order and they slowly rebuilt the South Wilts innings with a partnership of 67. Hayward was caught by Chris Skidmore off Michael Coles for 33, but Mynott continued to bat well as he and James Hibberd put on 87 for the fifth wicket as the hosts made it to 159 for four from 45 overs.
The patient Mynott finished on 78 not out, made off 123 balls, while Bishop was the pick of the Bridgwater bowlers with 3-10 from 9 overs.
Bridgwater, from the West of England Premier League, looked comfortable in reply and, despite losing openers Merv Hallaran and Mitchell Windsor, Chris Gange and Tom Clarke moved the score onto 98 for two.
However, after Gange was dismissed by Robert Franklin for 36, this quickly became 110 for five. Clarke, who had steadily moved onto 41, was then removed by Jack Sheppard, who also bowled ex-Derbyshire and Somerset all-rounder Steffan Jones and Bishop en route to 4-25.
This brought Ed Habberfield and Skidmore together with 15 still required for victory and overs running out. The duo kept calm and, with one needed from the final ball, Habberfield struck a boundary to give Bridgwater the win by two wickets.
Bowler-friendly conditions greeted the teams as Neston hosted Kidderminster Victoria and it was the Birmingham & District Premier League team that won this low-scoring match.
After being asked to bat first, Kidderminster Victoria openers Jonathan Wright and Andrew Kimberlin batted steadily before both fell in the twenties. Many of the visitors’ batsmen made it into double figures but Chris Finegan, who returned 4-40, kept taking wickets at regular intervals and Neston quickly removed the tail to leave Kidderminster Victoria 114 all out from 33.5 overs.
Unfortunately for Cheshire County Premier League side Neston, the visiting bowlers enjoyed the conditions even more and after Richard Kimberlin removed the top three, Neil Pinner and Mark Mansell got into the action and the home side crumbled.
Only two players reached double figures as Neston were dismissed for 62 in 28.2 overs. Mansell led the way with 4-7 from 7.2 as Kidderminster earned a home tie against Bamford Fieldhouse in the last eight.
In the other fifth-round match that took place, Brentwood and Barnt Green came together, but only after a great deal of effort by both clubs.
With both Brentwood and Barnt Green's home grounds unplayable and both teams keen to avoid further fixture congestion, Barnt Green took advantage of Kidderminster Victoria's away trip to Neston and managed to secure their ground for the game.
Barnt Green will be thankful that they did as they came out on top in a close match. After setting Brentwood a target of 180 all out, they dismissed the Essex Premier League side for 170.
The three remaining fifth round ties - Chorley v Cuckney, Havant v Teddington and Tunbridge Wells v Wanstead & Snaresbrook - will all take place this Sunday with the quarter-finals scheduled for Sunday 29th July.