Tunbridge Wells are Portman U15 champions
Tunbridge Wells were crowned Portman Building Society U15 National Club Champions after a final victory over Newport at Bournemouth.
The Kent side saw off their opposition by eight wickets in an exciting finale to the 2007 competition; while Wem took third place after a play-off victory over Mansfield Hosiery Mills by the same margin.
A 100-run partnership between Sam Stickler, who retired not out 50, and Tom Elliot, unluckily run out eight short of his half-century, was the key to Tunbridge Wells' victory as they chased down Newport's total of 123 for six from their 20 overs.
At one stage the Welsh side, many of who's players were part of the 2005 U13 national championship-winning squad, looked on course to post a bigger total. Opener and skipper Imran Hassan was untroubled in a 41-ball 50 that included six fours before retiring not out.
But from 80 without loss in the 12th over, Newport were pegged back by some accurate Tunbridge Wells bowling and sharp work in the field. Tom Cleeve was caught by Caspian Paget off Elliot's spin for 21 the following over, and Josh Aston was bowled by seamer Tom Jenner for a second-ball duck to make it 83 for two.
Adam Millichip was run out for one, while Max Scarr made five before holing out to Max Thorpe at mid-wicket off Chis Williams. Rhydian Knox was bowled by the pacy Paget for 11, and Najaf Iqbal's defiant innings of 15 was ended with a run out off the final ball.
Losing Millichip for 10, bowled by Scarr with the score on 12, the Kent side's travelling supporters could have been fearing the worst. But Elliot and Stickler simply built a patient platform for victory, taking the score to 58 for one at the halfway mark, and keeping in time with the run-rate all the way towards the winning post.
When Stickler reached his 50 with a crisp two to mid-wicket and was retired, he had hit five boundaries in his 53-ball knock, and Tunbridge Wells were all but home.
Elliot didn't stay to see it, being run out after a mix-up with Thorpe. But the latter, whose hero is Kevin Pietersen, was the hero for his team-mates at the end of the day, thumping a straight four to win it with an over to spare.
Elliot had been in the runs earlier too in the semis, making an undefeated 53 while Williams also posted a 50 in a massive 158 for five that gave Mansfield Hosiery Mills little chance; and they were unable to get further than 66 for nine.