Hatherleigh, Sheringham and Yateley into finals
Three more teams are through to the National Finals Week in the MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ U13 National Club Championship following the latest Regional Finals.
Tuesday July 22 saw sides competing for a place at Oakham School from August 5 onwards, following the North Midlands regional final at Uppingham School on Wednesday July 16 which had seen Old Northamptonians qualify for finals week.
And they were joined by Leamington last Sunday when they won the West Midlands regional final at Colwall CC.
The South & South East regional final at Horsham was played on superb pitches in glorious sunshine. The semi-finals in the morning were Yateley (Hampshire) v Blackheath (Kent) and Wimbledon (Surrey) and Hastings & St Leonard’s Priory (Sussex).
Hastings had reached last year’s National finals week and were looking to make a swift return trip to Oakham, especially as they had a number of last year’s team still eligible to play.
Yateley eased to victory over Blackheath while Wimbledon won a hard-fought match with Hastings. After lunch Yateley were determined to win the toss for the final so that they could bat first and hope that their opponents from Surrey were still letting their lunch settle.
This proved to be the perfect tactic as both Yateley openers scored quickfire 30s before retiring after eight overs of their team’s innings. The final Yateley total was a formidable 140.
Wimbledon’s hopes were soon dashed as four quick wickets fell and although the lower-order batsmen played some shots they were never in contention.
In the East regional final, Sheringham (Norfolk) battled through both matches, retrieving losing positions against both opponents. In the semi-final they batted first against Wanstead and scored 92. With two overs to go Wanstead were coasting at 85 for five to then lose their heads.
With two players run-out and a batsman who was set bowled playing across a straight one the Essex side crashed to defeat.
In the other semi-final, Letchworth had coasted past Cambridge St Giles. In the final Letchworth batted first and were cruising at 70 for two but then collapsed to 93 all out. Sheringham knocked the runs off, winning with two overs to spare.
Bournemouth Sports Club hosted the South West regional final where Hatherleigh from Devon were victorious over their opponents from Cheddar (Somerset), Broadstone (Dorset) and Penzance (Cornwall).
The North West regional final due to be staged at St Helen’s Recs CC had to be postponed until Thursday, the reserve day, due to the heavy rainfall in that area in the past week.
Barton-under-Needwood (Derbyshire), Heaton (Lancs), Shrewsbury (Shropshire) and Wolverhampton (Staffordshire) will hope for better weather in the next couple of days.