Westfield leads Essex to Trophy glory
Lancashire second XI lost a third final in the space of two seasons as Essex lifted the Second XI Trophy at Chelmsford.
The hosts rallied with the ball to triumph by 14 runs, Mervyn Westfield starring with 4-48 as Lancashire fell narrowly short of overhauling a target of 272.
Lancashire appeared well placed at 154 for one with 20 overs remaining, but Warren Goodwin’s departure for a fluent 82 checked their momentum considerably.
Pace bowler Westfield removed Jordan Clark for 22 to reduce Lancashire to 188 for two, the first of five wickets to tumble for 26 runs in six overs.
From 214 for seven, Lancashire’s chances were as good as over, and Westfield removed Arron Lilley and Nick Caunce before Chris Wright sealed victory with two balls unused by bowling Gary Montgomery.
Essex ensured the efforts of Goodwin, whose innings spanned 83 balls, and Andrea Agathagelou, who made 53, went to waste - and left Lancashire to reflect on another failure at the final hurdle, having lost the Trophy final to Yorkshire and the Championship final to Surrey last season.
The platform for Essex’s total of 271 for nine was laid by Billy Godleman and captain Tom Westley, who made 43 and 39 respectively and shared an opening stand of 73 inside 15 overs.
Tim Phillips supplied late impetus by smashing an unbeaten 56 off 49 deliveries, while Aaron West weighed in with 36, but Lancashire will no doubt rue the fact they conceded 36 extras, including an astonishing 26 wides.
Left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, who claimed 3-37, and Steven Cheetham, with 3-43, emerged with the greatest credit amongst the bowlers.