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Bourne ultimatum for Cuckney

ECB National Club T20

Cuckney will meet Bournemouth in the final of the Cockspur Club Twenty20 after both sides upset the odds at Derby's County Ground.

Bournemouth beat Reigate Priory by 15 runs in the first semi-final before Cuckney cantered past the highly-rated Ockbrook & Borrowash in a one-sided match.

Asked to bat first under grey skies, Bournemouth posted a formidable 162 for four which always looked too many.

Mark House was the star of the innings, carrying his bat to finish unbeaten 65.

House and fellow opener Nick Park put on 108 for the first wicket as Bournemouth cashed in on some wayward Reigate bowling which leaked 19 wides.

Reigate, dubbed 'The Llamas', needed former Somerset batsman Simon Ecclestone and the promising Jason Roy to fire at the top of the innings.

Despite some lusty hitting, neither could give the Surrey outfit the platform they needed for a successful chase.

Ecclestone chipped a catch off Ed Denham, Roy skied a full-toss while former Surrey professional Chris Murtagh, who announced himself with a huge straight six, departed soon after to send Reigate spiralling towards defeat.

Jonathan Gale did his best down the order with some powerful strokes to give Reigate a sniff of an unlikely victory.

But needing 20 to win off the final over, Denham kept his composure to see Bournemouth through.

Denham finished with two wickets, as did man of the match House, but Simon Watkins was the pick of the attack with 2-12 from his four overs.

In the second semi-final, which began under floodlights, Cuckney opted to bat first on a green wicket.

Will Ullyott played some attractive shots including a punch through point off former Derbyshire favourite Kevin Dean which had the Sky commentators purring.

But he paid the price for an ugly heave off the slippery Trevor Smith and was caught to leave Cuckney 25 for one in the fourth over.

The strapping Richard Stroh and captain Will Butler continued to carry the fight to Ockbrook, taking 16 runs off Smith's fourth over as Cuckney reached 78 for one at the midway point.

Ockbrook made a much-needed breakthrough when wicketkeeper Jonathan Guthrie picked up and threw down the stumps at the bowler's end to run out Butler for 25.

Stroh continued to attack by smashing Jake Needham for two huge sixes over midwicket to reach 50 from 39 balls.

Tom Ullyott tried something similar but fell to a stunning catch by Smith on the long-on boundary, the fielder running back, turning and thrusting a hopeful left hand to somehow grab hold of the lofted strike.

A large total always looked likely as long as Stroh remained at the crease and he was well supported by Fran O'Neil's late cameo.

But it was all about Stroh, unveiling his own version of the 'Dilshan' before brutally carting Neil Smith for another six to move to 95 with one ball of the innings remaining.

With all eyes on the middle, Stroh attempted an almight heave to reach his hundred but was smartly stumped by Guthrie.

Chasing 182 to win, Charlie Ault gave Ockbrook hope with six boundaries in the first two overs, the last of which was a sweetly timed drive over mid-off.

Ault clipped Butler for a colossal six over square leg but his entertaining stay ended soon after when he got a leading edge off the same bowler and was caught at mid-off.

The much-trumpeted Matthew Lineker lasted just one ball as Cuckney made it two wickets in three balls, David Hunt taking a fine diving catch down the legside off Butler.

The double setback hit Ockbrook hard and allowed Cuckney to apply the brakes, pressure which soon told in the tenth over as opener Matt Cassar holed out for a pedestrian 13.

At halfway Ockbrook were 74 for three needing an unlikely 107 off 60 balls.

Jonny Owen, one of a handful of former Derbyshire players in the Ockbrook line-up, did his best to keep up with the escalating run-rate but it was soon clear he was fighting a losing battle.

When he was stumped soon after Cuckney, led by the excellent Tom Ullyott who finished with four wickets, closed out for a comprehensive 66-run win.