CRICKETER CUP SEMI-FINALS 23 JULY 2017
The two semi-finals were played out successfully against a backdrop of dodgy weather forecasts, and there will be new faces in the final at Arundel Castle on Sunday 6 August. The first of these will be Old Eastbournians who dominated their
game at Eastbourne with fellow newcomers Old Bedfordians. Both teams have only been in the competition for five years, and nine of the Eastbourne team were aged 22 or younger. Winning the toss, Eastbourne batted first and made an impressive 259-7 in their 50 overs. Top scorer was the captain Angus Stewart, whose father David had been a stalwart of the Uppingham Rovers Cricketer Cup side. Stewart played very well for his 61 and others chipped in around him, with Brad Evans making 31 and four other scores in the 20s, E.Wharton taking 3-54 for Bedford. Their reply never threatened the Eastbourne total. Missing their best player, James Kettleborough, who had scored an unbeaten century and an unbeaten 80 in the two previous rounds, only Shiv Patel with 35 not out made an impression. Charlie Hobden’s quickish off-spin took 4-38 and Jacob Smith 2-19, as Bedford succumbed for 144 in 39 overs.
At Wellington there was a much tighter game. Old Wellingtonians won the toss and put Old Malvernians in, partly because of a dreadful weather forecast which never materialised. The wicket and outfield were both slow and boundaries were hard to come by in the morning. The Malvern innings stuttered with the loss of regular wickets against Wellington’s four slow left armers until their captain, Will Gifford, came in and batted superbly for 68 not out. In their 50 overs Malvern scored 214-8, thought by the pundits to be about 20 below par, which proved a shrewd assessment. Wellington started slowly and were 84-4 after 25 overs, but Ed Young held the innings together with a match-winning 105, well supported by Will Leith and Hugo Shephard. Shephard and Young fell in consecutive balls with Wellington needing 15 off the last 18 balls with 8 wickets down. Five were needed off the final over, another wicket fell but, with two needed, Ed Lowe lifted the tension by hitting the winning runs off the fourth ball. Seven Wellington wickets fell to the Griffiths brothers, bowling their slow left arm with great accuracy. Old Malvernians, in winning the last two finals, have been the dominant side in the competition and should be congratulated on going so close again.
Old Wellingtonians, winners for the only time in 1995, and Old Eastbournians, who have never progressed this far, thus meet in the final. It promises to be a great occasion on the 50 th anniversary of the first final in 1967 between Repton Pilgrims and Radley Rangers. Supporters of all competing schools are very welcome. There is plenty of parking around the ground, light refreshments are available, and it is a great ground on which to picnic.
FINAL (to be played at Arundel Castle on Sunday 6 August starting at 11.30):
OLD WELLINGTONIANS v OLD EASTBOURNIANS