CRICKETER CUP FINAL SUNDAY 11 AUGUST 2019
The 2019 Cricketer Cup Final at Arundel Castle resulted in a very comfortable victory for the Old Tonbridgians by six wickets against Oundle Rovers. Oundle won the toss and decided to bat on a clear day and what appeared to be a fast outfield and good wicket. They were quickly in trouble against the opening seam attack of Toby Pettman, captain of Oxford University in 2020, and Hugo Snape. After 10 overs Oundle were 24-3, with only their captain and most experienced batsman Greg Smith standing firm. The main problem Tonbridge faced was the early retirement of their wicket-keeper, Ant Shales, with a pulled hamstring. Things did not improve for Oundle when Tonbridge turned to spin. Smith was the sixth batsman out, for the top score of 27, with the score only 77 in the 30th over, and the innings finally folded in the 44th over for 124. Charlie Fernandes at number nine was the only other batsman to pass 20, and just four of the Oundle team made it into double figures. Tonbridge bowled extremely well and backed this up in the field. Pettman was the most successful bowler with 3-27 off 7.3 overs, with Snape taking 2-26 off 7. The slow left arm of Fabian Cowdrey was very economical with figures of 2-19 off 10 overs, and he was well backed up by off-spinners Tom Coldman and Marcus O’Riordan, who each took a wicket, as did the slow left arm of Nick Winder. Cowdrey took a smart slip catch, and Coldman a well-judged skier at long on to remove Fernandes.
Oundle’s total was a long way below par for the conditions, and Tonbridge made relatively short work of it in the 26th over. Cowdrey ended a fine all-round match with 74 not out to complete an outstanding 2019 Cricketer Cup campaign, with previous scores of 115, 203 not out, 4, and 43 not out. It was fitting that he should hit the winning run on a ground which his grandfather had done so much to turn into a first-class venue. The captain, Olly Durell, opening in place of Shales, skied a catch to his opposite number with the score only 14, but this year’s school captain, Julian O’Riordan, helped Cowdrey to take the score to 91 before he departed for 18. His brother Marcus, just awarded a full contract by Kent, came and went third ball, but Tom Elliott helped Cowdrey take the score to within one of Oundle’s before he was lbw. Oundle bowled steadily, especially the persevering Patrick Foster and Will Street, who took two of the wickets to fall, but the failure of their batsmen had given them an impossible task.
A crowd of several hundred, including representatives from many different schools in the Cricketer Cup, enjoyed Arundel’s spectacular views and welcoming ambience. One was Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive and former Oundle player, who kindly brought with him the World Cup Trophy recently won by England, which was much admired and photographed. Tim Elliott, Chairman of the Cricketer Cup, led the presentation ceremony and invited Richard Ellison, Old Tonbridgian, Kent and England cricketer, to present the cup. Old Tonbridgians consolidated their position at the top of the competition’s order of merit with their sixteenth win since its inception in 1967, six more than their closest rivals, Old Malvernians.