Across the sprawling Victorian capital city, Calmore Sports left-hander Ben Johns scored 35, helping Brighton seconds to a 7-wicket win over Ormond (178).
* Any other news of SPL cricketers playing Down Under would be welcomed.
Lymington all-rounder Ryan Scott top scored on his debut for Norwood in the Ringwood District CA League on the eastern extremities of Melbourne, but was unable to save his adopted club from a crushing 147-run defeat by Mooroobark, who posted 256-9. Scott made 55, making half the 109-run Norwood reply.
Across the sprawling Victorian capital city, Calmore Sports left-hander Ben Johns scored 35, helping Brighton seconds to a 7-wicket win over Ormond (178).
* Any other news of SPL cricketers playing Down Under would be welcomed.
Long standing supporters of Southern Cricket League presentation functions will be saddened to hear news of the passing of broadcaster, impressionist and after dinner speaker supreme Peter Brackley, aged 67.
Cutting his teeth on the dinner circuit in the mid-1980s, he first appeared solo, but on return visits to Southampton worked alongside long standing sporting colleagues Ian Darke, Gary Richardson and Mike Osman, forever having his audience rocking in the aisles with his sharp wit and brilliant impressions.
He will be remembered as having one of the most recognisable voices on radio and television. He did his media training at Highbury College in Cosham (Portsmouth) and before he became a household name in broadcasting worked as a red coat at Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Bognor Regis.
He was a hugely talented, knowledgeable, outrageously funny, his knowledge of soccer unsurpassed.
Peter Brackley began his career on the radio with BBC Radio Brighton in the 1970s, before making the switch to television and taking up a role with ITV, where he began covering some of the biggest football events, including the 1984 European Championships, the 1986 European Cup Final between Steaua Bucharest and Barcelona, along with the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals.
A lifelong Brighton & Hove Albion fan, he continued to work at the biggest football events after moving over to BSkyB in the late 1980s, and covered the 1990 FIFA World Cup for then BSkyB-owned channel Eurosport.
He then took arguably the role for which he is best known, when he began commentating on Channel 4’s brand new Football Italia show throughout the 1990s, working alongside the likes of the late Ray Wilkins, James Richardson and Luther Blissett.
The legendary broadcaster returned to ITV, which coincided with his work for Channel 4, and he featured at another four World Cups between 1994 and 2006, as well as the 1996 and 2000 European Championships.
Throughout the 1990s he featured on the Saint and Greavsie TV show and, a great impressionist, he often provided voice for the satirical current affairs show Spitting Image.
His last local ‘on stage’ appearances came at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and the King’s Theatre, Southsea, where he wrote and produced shows on Saints and Pompey, which provided him with the platform to demonstrate both his acting and comic abilities on memorable evenings in front of many hundred soccer fans.
Soccer and broadcasting has lost one of its greats with the passing on Sunday of Peter Brackley.
* The Crease is indebted to Andy Naylor of the Brighton Argus in the preparation of this tribute.
South Wilts prospect Ben Draper celebrated his debut for the Melbourne sub-district club Parkdale with an unbeaten century, which set up a five-wicket victory over Bentleigh (275-9). Draper hit 103 not out - his maiden knock on Australian soil.
Three players from champion club Bournemouth and a trio of Ventnor cricketers have been selected in the Southern Premier League Division One Team of the Year.
Opening batsman Nick Park and spin duo Dom Clutterbuck and Rob Pack are picked from Bournemouth, while all-rounders Tom Friend and Chris Russell get the nod from Ventnor, alongside lead gloveman Ben Woodhouse.
Sarisbury Athletic are represented by their skipper Ricky Rawlins and Channel Islanders Tom Nightingale.
Premier Division One Team of the Year -
Champions Sparsholt provide three of the Southern Premier League Division 2’s Team of the Year, with skipper Jeremy Frith and David Banks selected as prominent all-rounders alongside teenage spinner Liam Doran, who took 32 wickets.
Frith headed the batting charts with 756 runs besides taking 33 wickets, while Banks garnered 618 runs alongside picking up 26 wickets.
Basingstoke & North Hants bound Tom Allam’s three centuries got the Tichborne Park all-rounder a top order slot, while Langley Manor’s Conor Browne has been chosen as batsman/wicketkeeper.
Despite his team’s relegation, Trojans all-rounder Syed Mahmood bagged a middle-order slot in the select team.
Southern Premier League Division Two Team of the Year –
1. Jeremy Frith, Sparsholt
2. Cameron Grierson, Paultons
3. Dave Banks, Sparsholt
4. + Conor Browne, Langley Manor
5. Tom Allam, Tichborne Park
6. Paul Hawkins, St Cross Symondians II
7. Syed Mahmood, Trojans
8. Liam Doran, Sparsholt
9. Rakitha Perera, Basingstoke & North Hants II
10. Andrew Denny, Paultons
11. Matt Perry-Lewis, St Cross Symondians II
Award winning duo Jack Davies and Charlie Gwynn have been named in a 12-man Southern Premier League Division 3 ‘Team of the Year.’
Portsmouth & Southsea opener Davies was the division’s leading run scorer, while Gwynn, now studying hard at Oxford Brookes, carried off the bowling award with his left-arm spin for Fair Oak.
Title winning Fair Oak also had big-hitting all-rounder Gregor McKenzie named, while Havant II’s had a consolation for their relegation to the Hampshire League by having Simon Loat chosen as wicketkeeper.
Division 3 Team of the Year –
1. Jack Davies, Portsmouth & Southsea
2. Syed Agha, Lymington II
3. Matt Benfield, Portsmouth & Southsea
4. Josh McCoy, Purbrook
5. Sufian Munir, Fawley
6. Tom Pearce, South Wilts II
7. Henry Glanfield, Hambledon
8. * Simon Loat, Havant
9. Gregor McKenzie, Fair Oak
10.Charlie Gwynn, Fair Oak
11.Ian Turner, Hambledon
12. Adam Freeman, Fawley
Hythe & Dibden can start planning to host Southern Premier League cricket at Jones Lane next summer after being told their promotion as Hampshire League champions is being recommended for approval.
The Waterside club must wait until next month’s Premier League annual meeting before confirmation can be given.
But the SPL’s accreditation team is understood to be recommending to the AGM that, subject to a few ground enhancements such as providing double sightscreens, a score-box and a clock, Hythe’s promotion to play in Division 3 cricket in 2019 should go ahead.
Hythe were naturally elated with the news that their ground facilities and junior set-up has got the Premier League’s approval.
“It’s the icing on the cake of a superb season for the club, who in 2012 were playing Hampshire League County Division 3 cricket, having been relegated the previous year,” beamed long serving club stalwart Steve Chiverton.
“We’ve achieved five promotions in the past six seasons and with our second team winning County Division 4 West this summer, it’s been a year to remember for the club.”
But winning the championship was a close run affair for Hythe & Dibden, who only pipped Parley to the title by a solitary point.
Opener Tom Gates led the way with 683 runs, while Andy Wakely took 30 wickets in addition to scoring 424 runs.
David Wakefield, New Milton’s overseas player in 2016 and 2017, is in the USA team competing in the West Indies Super 50 Regional Tournament in Barbados.
He made his USA debut in Saturday’s 59-run defeat by the Combined Campuses & Colleges team, captained by six-hitting World Cup winner Carlos Braithwaite, who cracked a quick-fire 69.
Wakefield, batting four, was dismissed for six as the USA was dismissed for 162, chasing the CCC total of 221-9. He hopes to retain his place for Monday’s match against Jamaica at the Kensington Oval, which is being screened live on BTSport 3, from 3 o’clock.
Stand by for the announcement of the 2018 Southern Premier League Teams of the Year - the XIs chosen to represent each of the four SPL divisions, plus an Under-21 team picked from across all four divisions.
Just like the Pools Panel (do they still exist ?), the selectors are spending the weekend in a 'safe house' and will announce their chosen teams during the course of the week commencing October 8.
Alton’s Julian Ballinger won the ECB Southern Premier Division bowling award for a third time (he was also leading wicket taker in 2006 and 2015) with a 46-wicket haul for the Brewers, which lifted his overall aggregate to within comfortable striking distance of a 400-wicket milestone.
He took three five-wicket Time Pennant hauls in the space of four weeks in mid-summer now has 385 wickets in Premier Division cricket and an overall tally of 571 in all divisions.
Hampshire Academy captain Felix Organ topped the Premier Division batting charts with an 843-run haul, which included 119 against Alton and seven other scores of 50 or more, while second placed Tom Morton has to make do with the consolation prize of finishing the season as top gloveman, with 26 victims.
Leading performances -
Batting: Felix Organ (Academy) 843, Tom Morton (South Wilts) 769, Harry Came (St Cross Symondians ) 764, Joe Collings-Wells (Burridge) 706, Scott Myers (Alton) 669, Tom Scriven (Academy) 646, Ben Thane (Basingstoke & North Hants) 627, Jimmy Adams (St Cross Symondians) 585, Richard Lock (Burridge) 560.
Bowling: Julian Ballinger (Alton) 46, Graham Burns (Havant) 39, Luke Evans (South Wilts) 37, Oli Southon 34, Scott Myers (Alton) 30, Harry Foyle (St Cross Symondians) 29, Richard Lock (Burridge) 29, David Griffiths (Basingstoke & North Hants) 28, Tom Scriven (Academy) 27.
Golden Gloves: Tom Morton (South Wilts) 26, George Metzger (Academy) 20, Alex Ayers (St Cross Symondians) 20.
Safest hands: Campbell Golding (New Milton) 12, Arthur Godsal (South Wilts) 11, Josh Digby (Bashley Rydal) 11.
Teenager Liphook & Ripsley left-arm medium-pace bowler Jack Campbell has signed a professional cricket with Durham.
The 19-year old, who was educated at Churcher’s College in Petersfield, penned a deal shortly after helping Durham win the county Second XI Championship title.
The lanky left-armer played Hampshire League cricket at Steep, before representing Hampshire Under-17s for two seasons, also opening the bowling for the Hampshire Academy before being released.
He played four times for Liphook at the start of this past season before moving to the north-east, where he joined Chester-Le-Street, taking 14 wickets and as the club finished runners up to South Northumberland in the powerful ECB North East Premier League.
Campbell made his debut for England Under-19s in a Youth One Day International against South Africa in July and has subsequently been awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship to pursue Sports Science studies at Durham University.
* Jack Campbell (right) is pictured receiving his England Under-19 cap from Andy Flower.
Lord’s Village Cup finalist Harry Munt won the Southern Premier League Division One batting award, while the bowling and wicket-keeping prizes went to Ventnor pair Chris Russell and Ben Woodhouse, respectively.
Munt, who played a lead role in Liphook & Ripsley reaching the Village Cup final, topped the batting charts with 593 runs and was among six SPL1 cricketers to score in excess of 500, Sarisbury Athletic pair Tom Nightingale and Ricky Rawlins among them.
Ventnor all-rounder Tom Friend was second with 550 runs and was close to joining team-mates Chris Russell and Ben Woodhouse on the winners’ rostrum. Russell celebrated his return from a spell with Worcestershire – ironically, his adopted club Wolverhampton were relegated from the ECB Birmingham & District Premier League this summer – with 39 victims and only nipped in from of champion left-arm spinner Robbie Pack on the final day of the season.
Woodhouse’s 30 victims gave him the Golden Gloves award, ahead of Birmingham University bound Hartley Wintney vice-captain Will Kerr.
Batting: Harry Munt (Liphook & Ripsley) 593, Tom Friend (Ventnor) 550, Tom Nightingale (Sarisbury Athletic) 547, Nick Park (Bournemouth) 530, Ricky Rawlins (Sarisbury Athletic) 506, Jordan Hobday (Hook & Newnham Basics) 503.
Bowling: Chris Russell (Ventnor) 39, Robbie Pack (Bournemouth) 37, Mark Lavelle (Calmore Sports) 36, Dom Clutterbuck (Bournemouth) 34, Shane Brewer (Hook & Newnham Basics) 31, Andrew Marston (Portsmouth) 30.
Golden Gloves: Ben Woodhouse (Ventnor) 30, Will Kerr (Hartley Wintney) 23, Chris Park (Bournemouth) 18.
Safe hands: Ricky Rawlins (Sarisbury Athletic) 15, Richard Willcock (Hook & Newnham Basics) 14, Jordan Hobday (Hook & Newnham Basics) 13, Robbie Pack (Bournemouth) 12, Harry Tulk (OTs & Romsey) 12.
Australia is bracing itself for a mini-invasion of Southern Premier League cricketers, three of whom from South Wilts are on the brink of touching down in Melbourne after a jet lag guaranteed day-long flight.
Ben Draper and Luke Evans are set to join the Victoria sub-district club Parkside, while pace bowler Ryan Murray will be looking to build up a head of steam in the outback.
Also on his way to Melbourne is Lymington all-rounder Ryan Scott, who is joining Norwood, near Ringwood, on the eastern extremities of the city.
Calmore Sports left-hander Ben Johns is spending the winter at the affluent seaside resort of Brighton, while Portsmouth left-hand opener Ben Duggan has left his Isle of Wight base to play Suburban Turf Competition cricket for WACA club Melville.
New Milton teen Raff Hussey flies to Adelaide next week to link up with the Darren Lehmann Academy, while Havant’s Harry Gadd is spending the winter in New Zealand.
Former South Africa Under-19 captain Sibz Makhanya, who played ECB Southern Premier League cricket for Basingstoke & North Hants this summer, made an innings saving 86 for Dolphins in the opening four-day CSA provincial match against Titans at Centurion Park.
The Durham side were in trouble at 116-5 when Makhanya arrived at the crease to hit 86 (two sixes and ten fours) and steer Dolphins to 269 all out.
Titans (308) took a 39-run first innings lead before dismissing Dolphins for 315 in their second knock, leaving themselves 276 to win. Titans closed 244-8, having been set 276 to win.
Makhanya made 297 SPL runs for Basingstoke, including an unbeaten 111 against South Wilts, and took 16 wickets.
Applications remain open until midnight Sunday 30 September at this link - https://bit.ly/2wD6F9N - for those wishing to apply to become volunteers at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
There are 5 ICC World Cup matches at Hampshire Cricket’s Ageas Bowl next June 5,10,14, 22 & 24.
There is more information about the opportunity on the ECB website: https://bit.ly/2wy7VvC. Applicants must be aged 18 or over on 20 May 2019 and have the right to work in the UK.
Championship winning Sparsholt captain Jeremy Frith came within touching distance of landing both the Southern Premier League Division 2 batting and bowling prizes.
Having finished second to St Cross Symondians II skipper Paul Hawkins in 2017, Frith headed the batting charts with 756 runs – he hit 144 against St Cross and 127 v Trojans – but was pipped by Matt Perry-Lewis (35 wickets) as he strove to win the bowling award for the second consecutive season.
Frith was favourite to land the award going into the final round of matches, but he managed to bowl only three overs at the Totton & Eling tail after the Eels lost their first six wickets for only nine runs. He ended the season with 33 wickets (six fewer than in 2017), but with a championship winners medal as consolation !
A clean sweep of the SPL2 awards by Winchester cricketers was complete when Symondians’ stumper Robbie Hadfield finished top of the wicket-keeping charts with 23 victims.
Batting: Jeremy Frith (Sparsholt) 756, Tom Allam (Tichborne Park) 742, David Banks (Sparsholt) 618, Conor Browne (Langley Manor) 617, Paul Hawkins (St Cross Symondians II) 575, Cameron Grierson (Paultons) 568, Matt Deadman (Basingstoke & North Hants II) 517, Michael Haworth (Sparsholt) 502.
Bowling: Matt Perry-Lewis (St Cross Symondians II) 35, Jerry Frith (Sparsholt) 33, Rakitha Perera (Basingstoke & North Hants II) 33, Liam Doran (Sparsholt) 32, Andrew Denney (Paultons) 30, Kieran Geyle (Totton & Eling) 27, Jack Murrell (Paultons) 27, Archie Reynolds (Waterlooville) 27, David Banks (Sparsholt) 26, Jake Wish (Rowledge) 25.
Golden Gloves: Robbie Hadfield (St Cross Symondians II) 23, Ben Wish (Rowledge) 18, Nigel le Bas (Trojans) 18.
Safe hands: Paul Hawkins (St Cross Symondians II) 12, David Lloyd (Rowledge) 12, Oli Perrin (Totton & Eling) 12.
St Cross Symondians talent Harry Came has signed a two-year professional contract with Hampshire – and not Kent for whom he rattled off a succession of Second XI centuries this summer.
The 20-year old from Old Basing had offers from both counties, but chose his home county Hampshire, where he has come through the junior age group ranks, playing a key part in the Under-17s ECB County Championship victory three seasons ago.
Came has been in phenomenal form since coming down from Bradfield, winning the Southern Premier League’s Young Cricketer award in 2017 and playing a lead role in St Cross Symondians’ championship triumph this season.
He put himself firmly in the shop window with a series of hundreds for Kent in mid-summer and looked to be headed to Canterbury, but instead chose Hampshire, where he will begin training in November.
Jack Davies had never previously scored a league century for Portsmouth & Southsea’s first team, but made up for lost time by scoring three hundreds which helped him win the Southern Premier League Division 3 batting award.
Davies’ 642 run tally included centuries against Lymington II (137), Havant II (104) and Bashley (Rydal II), his only previous ton having come in 2010 in a Hampshire League Regional Division 1 South match at Hyde. He also hit three half-centuries.
Award winning Fair Oak left-arm spinner Charlie Gwynn became the second SPL3 player in six seasons to notch 40-wickets, helping to bowl the Oaks to the championship in the process.
His haul included a season’s best 5-19 against Fawley, with his 40 wickets coming at an average of 11 and the third best economy rate of 2.92 behind Hambledon’s Ian Turner and Chris Turrell (Portsmouth & Soiuthsea).
South Wilts II gloveman Sam Pittman became a wicket-keeping award winner for a third time, with his 25 wickets, one more than Hambledon’s Will Bond.
Batting: Jack Davies (Portsmouth & Southsea) 642, Josh McCoy (Purbrook) 584, Matt Benfield (Portsmouth & Southsea) 526, Gregor McKenzie (Fair Oak) 482, Henry Glanfield (Hambledon) 467, Tom Pearce (South Wilts II) 456, Syed Agha (Lyminton II) 454.
Bowling: Charlie Gwynn (Fair Oak) 40, Adam Freeman (Fawley) 34, Wayne Smith (Fawley) 33, Henry Glanfield (Hambledon) 31, Josh McCoy (Purbrook) 30, Rob Pittman (South Wilts II) 29, Aaron Dean (Purbrook) 28, Rufus Bullough (Fair Oak) 27, Ross Stewart (Fair Oak) 27, Ian Turner (Hambledon) 27.
Golden Gloves: Sam Pittman (South Wilts II) 25, Will Bond (Hambledon) 24, Kieran Earl (Fawley) 23, Simon Loat (Havant II) 22, Richard Featherstone (Fair Oak) 21.
Safe hands: Bailey Parratt (Fawley) 14, Shaun Briggs (Portsmouth & Southsea) 13, Henry Glanfield (Hambledon) 13.
Nono Pongolo starred with bat and ball as Gauteng clinched the Africa T20 Cup final for the first time with a tense three-wicket win over Border in the Heritage Day final in East London on Monday.
The 29-year-old, who cut his teeth in senor cricket for Ventnor and Hambledon in the Southern Premier League, first claimed a career-best three for 20, before top scoring with a telling unbeaten 30 to take his side over the line, chasing 131 in a low-scoring affair at Buffalo Park.
Pongolo’s performance undid another brilliant all-round effort in the game from rookie Bamanye Xengxe, who first thumped an unbeaten 51 off 34 balls (3 fours, 2 sixes) and then claimed an exceptional three for 27 – both best efforts of his young career.
However, it was not enough as the visiting side celebrated the 2018 crown by getting across the line with four balls to spare.
The day had begun disappointingly for Border after they lost the toss and were put in to bat first. Their star man and competition’s outstanding batsman of this season, Marco Marais (who played for Alton this past summer), who smashed unbeaten scores of 103, 106 and 75 in the group stage last week and then plundered 64 in the semi-final on Sunday, fell for a first-ball duck to Carmi le Roux (1/24).
His reliable co-opener, Gihahn Cloete, also lost his wicket first ball, dismissed by Nandre Burger who was the other star Gauteng bowler with three for 27, leaving the hosts on three for two.
Yaseen Vallie (two) and Jerry Nqolo (nine) followed to leave Border in a massive hole on 17 for four in the fourth over, before the middle order and tail gave them something to bowl at.
Xengxe, in his fifth game, led the way, with support coming from Standard Bank Proteas batsman Christiaan Jonker (37) as their side was dismissed with the final ball of the innings with 130 on the board
Despite the locals chipping away at wickets, the away side made solid enough progress early on during the chase thanks to Delano Potgieter (23) and Temba Bavuma (27).
But four wickets fell for 31 runs in the middle of the innings as Gauteng slipped from 48 for two to 79 for six. Xengxe was the chief destroyer, with support offered by Clayton Bosch (2/21) as Border threatened a twist.
But Pongolo found an able partner in Carmi le Roux (23) to take the match by the scruff of the neck, with the former then clubbing a six at the start of the final over when seven were needed to settle the contest and seal the win.
Teenage South Wilts all-rounder Jack Stearman was named Wiltshire’s Player of the Year after a season which, according to county manager Tom Morton, “he progressed beyond all expectations within such a short space of time.”
“His award for Wiltshire is very much in recognition for someone whose rise within one cricket season is quite remarkable. Jack certainly has a bright cricketing future ahead,” praised Morton, who promoted Stearman into South Wilts’ ECB Southern Premier Division side before the season ended.
Stearman, who hails from Chilmark, a small village 11 miles south-west of Salisbury, is studying Russian as one of his A-level subjects at Gillingham School.
He began the season playing in South Wilts fourth team, knocking up an unbeaten 145 in his first competitive match, a Hampshire League Regional North West 1 victory over OTs & Romsey IV at East Tytherley.
Promoted to the third team a week later, he made 113 not out at East Woodhay and, come August, was in South Wilts’ first team, making a maiden SPL century against the Hampshire Academy on the Ageas Bowl Nursery Ground.
“Jack has always been a regular Wiltshire county junior player within his own age group, regularly contributing with bat and in recent seasons the ball too. This past summer was very much a coming of age season,” Morton added.
“Having been involved in the EPP during the winter months, he was already on the radar and went on to make an unbeaten 122 for Wiltshire Under-17s against Dorset and, after he’d made that century against the Academy, was selected for his Minor Counties Championship debut against Oxfordshire.
At 17 years of age, Stearman is the youngest player to receive Wiltshire’s Player of the Year award.
Skipper Charles Janczur admitted that big match nerves got to his batsmen in front of a near 2,000 crowd and led to a disappointing 72-run defeat for Liphook & Ripsley by Folkton & Flixton in the National Village Cup final at Lord’s.
Liphook batted in a rather reckless fashion and were dismissed for 126 after the North Yorkshire winners had recovered from 59-4 to post a competitive 198-8 at the Home of Cricket.
Ironically, the day could hardly have begun better for the East Hampshire side, who won the toss and put Flixton into bat in favourable early morning bowling conditions.
It was a departure from Liphook’s well rehearsed plan to bat first, but as the final progressed they found the tables turned.
“It was always going to be bat first, but when we got to the nets the ball was hooping and seaming around everywhere, there was cloud over the top and there was a tinge of green on the strip itself, so there was a quick change of mind,” Janczur
“We knew Flixton wanted to bowl first as they had chased successfully seven times out of the eight rounds they had negotiated.”
Lord’s finals in September would not be the same without the ball ‘doing a bit’ early on, and Folkton & Flixton found themselves in early trouble at 19-2 and later 59-4.
The first two wickets fell to Janczur (2-19), and the sight of them will live long in his memory - first Stu Stocks’ middle stump and then the leg stump of opening partner Richard Malthouse uprooted.
George Neave (3-39), feisty as ever, worked up a fair pace bowling from the pavilion end, making things uncomfortable for the batsmen and accounting for the Norman brothers, Tom (19) and captain Will (2) the fourth wicket a stunning catch at gully by Suman Ganguly.
Flixton rebuilt with a fine stand of 85 between Matthew Nesfield (60) and teenage prospect Will Hutchinson (48), both strong off the legs.
Harry Walmsley, a lorry driver, gave the innings a rousing finish with 35 off only 17 balls, including a magnificent straight six into the sightscreen in front of the pavilion.
The eloquent Janczur reflected: “We started really well and kept the run-rate down.
“When we had them 59-4, I didn’t want them to get above 180, but their fifth-wicket boys got stuck down, which is something we didn’t do. They took their time, waited for the bad ball and capitalised.
“We were content at half-time. We expected to chase that. No offence to them but we probably faced better attacks in the quarter- and semi-finals, but Flixton held their nerve and the pressure on the day got to our batsmen.”
A total of 198 in 40 overs looked about par, but L&R made a rip-roaring start, at eight an over.
Lynchpin Ryan Covey, around whom Liphook generally build their innings, pulled his first ball to the mid-wicket boundary, but soon feathered a catch behind [17-1]
Liphook batted in T20 style and by the end of the fourth over had 39 on the electronic scoreboard when Rob Nicklin dollied the first of four catches to Malthouse and perished to 16-year old Jack Hatton, who on most Sunday afternoons this autumn will be found catching up on his GCSE coursework.
There was also some confusion when Harry Munt (16) looked to have been given out stumped, but the square-leg umpire cleared up the confusion by saying he has was pointing that the batsman was in, not sticking his finger in the air. Munt was reprieved, but perished soon after, a second victim for the influential Connor Stephenson, who won a leg before decision from the same umpire.
Liphook lost a fourth key wicket (55-4) next ball when Neave, racked by nerves, spooned up a straightforward catch to cover. It was now left to Ganguly and Grant Rouse, who added 20 before the all-rounder was bowled by Tom Norman, Flixton’s stand-out bowler.
The off-spinner took a wicket in each of his first two overs before removing Grant Rouse (25), who (apart from 29 extras) top scored as Liphook sank to a disappointing 126 all out.
Janczur (14) was able to show off some batting prowess before the end, while last man Dave Elliott remained undefeated, having made his indelible mark (on the outfield) earlier in the lay, uprooting a square-foot of the hallowed turf in making a stop at third-man. Retiring Lord’s curator Mick Hunt almost had a fit, leaving incoming Rose Bowl groundsman Carl McDermott will an autumn headache about how the repair the damage ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup.
But at least it brought a smile to everyone’s faces and, the result apart, brought an end to a simply marvellous day in Liphook & Ripsley’s history. The Village Cup remained in Yorkshire custody for a fifth successive year, but that statistic is unlikely to take away a great memory shared by Liphook and their supporters.
Lord's: Folkton & Flixton 198-8, Liphook & Ripsley 126 - Folkton & Flixton won by 72 runs
Yorkshire’s recent domination of The Cricketer Village Cup continueds, with Folkton & Flixton crowned 2018 champions at Lord’s thanks to a dominant display with the ball.
Folkton & Flixton are adjoining villages that lie at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds, near Scarborough, and the club brought a sizeable, vocal contingent of fans to the capital.
Known as ‘Benidorm Corner’ they cheered and sang as their side restricted Liphook & Ripsley, also newcomers to Lord’s, to 126 all out, to win by 72 runs.
The Yorkshiremen were disappointed to lose the toss, as they had chased successfully seven times in this season’s 47th Village Cup, out of the eight rounds they had negotiated.
Lord’s finals in September would not be the same without the ball ‘doing a bit’ early on, and Folkton & Flixton found themselves at 59 for four. The first two wickets fell to Liphook & Ripsley captain Charles Janczur, and the sight of them will live long in his memory - first middle stump and then leg stump uprooted.
The fourth wicket fell thanks to a stunning catch at gully by Suman Ganguly.
F&F rebuilt with a fine stand of 85 between Matthew Nesfield, who made 60, and Will Hutchinson, who scored 48. Both were strong off the legs. Nesfield is a gamekeeper and Hutchinson is a sixth-former.
Harry Walmsley, a lorry driver who, like Hutchinson is a lifelong club stalwart, gave the innings a rousing finish with 35 off only 17 balls, including a magnificent straight six into the sightscreen in front of the pavilion. Janczur, who bowls off the wrong foot, finished with 2-19 from eight, Ganguly took 2-37, and the feisty youngster George Neave recorded figures of 3-39.
A total of 198 in 40 overs looked about par, but L&R made a rip-roaring start, at eight an over. They seemed to think it was T20, but three wickets for Connor Stephenson gave them a mountain to climb.
Wickets kept tumbling, and at 55 for four, and 99 for seven they looked doomed. There was some reckless batting, with nerves no doubt playing a part. There was also some confusion when Harry Munt looked to have been given out stumped, but the square-leg umpire cleared up the confusion by saying he has was pointing that the batsman was in, not sticking his finger in the air. Munt was reprieved, but perished soon after.
Off-spinner Tom Norman was the stand-out bowler, taking a wicket in each of his first two overs. He then removed danger man Grant Rouse, brother of Kent’s Adam. Throughout he bowled with wonderful flight and accuracy, finishing with 3-18. He had also been a hero in the semi-final, scoring 47. Richard Malthouse also bowled tidily, taking 1-18 in his eight overs.
About 300 sides from 32 regions all over the British Isles entered the Village Cup, organised and run by The Cricketer magazine since the competition’s inception in 1972.
Although Sessay lost the final last year, they won in 2016, and the two years before that were won by Woodhouse Grange, who have won the Village Cup a record four times. No wonder ‘Benidorm Corner’ chanted ‘Yorkshire! Yorkshire!' as they celebrated in the September sunshine.
F&F captain Will Norman said: “We desperately wanted to bowl first, and at 59 for four we were a bit nervous. Matthew and Will rescued us. My brother Tom bowled beautifully. In big games he stands up. The more pressure you put on, the better he bowls. We are a small village but because our ground is so good we can attract players. In April I didn’t think we’d make this. I started daring to dream in the last-16 tie when we knocked off 270 against Broadbottom, nine down, the last-wicket pair putting on 40.”
Asked why Yorkshire do so well in this competition, he said: “It’s in Yorkshiremen’s blood, we just love it.”
The eloquent Janczur said: “We started really well, we kept the run-rate down. I didn’t want them to get above 180, but their fifth-wicket boys got stuck down, which is something we didn’t do.
“We were content at half-time. We expected to chase that. No offence to them but we probably faced better attacks in the quarter- and semi-finals, but they held their nerve and the pressure on the day got to our batsmen. It has been an unbelievable day, though, and we have the incentive to come back next year.”
* Report reproduced by kind permission of the Cricketer magazine.
North Yorkshire side Flixton recovered from 59-4 to post an eventual 198-8 against Liphook & Ripsley in the Village Cup final at Lord’s, where over 2,500 are watching from the Mound Stand.
Two early strikes by Has Janczur (2-19) had Flixton wobbling before George Neave, generating pace from the pavilion end, took two more.
But the Yorkies hit back with Will Hutchinson (48) and Matt Nesfield (60) reshaped the innings with an 85-run stand.
Harry Walmsley made 35 off 17 balls before being trapped leg before by Ganguly (2-37) in the last over (197-8).
South African Marco Marais experienced a disappointing season with Alton, scoring only 164 runs in ten Southern Premier League knocks, but he’s back to his big hitting best in his native country, blasting his second century in 24 hours as Border trounced Mpumalanga by nine wickets in the Africa T20 Cup to give themselves hope of reaching the semis.
After hitting 103 not out against Namibia on day one, the right-hander thumped an unbeaten 106 (55 balls, 7 fours, 8 sixes) to take his team to their 176 target with 15 balls to spare.
Marais is growing into a T20 superstar after making global headlines last season when he smashed the fastest triple century in first-class cricket history from only 191 balls.
Marais then produced another devastating innings when he smashed 75 off 34 balls (10 fours, 3 sixes) in an eight-wicket over Kenya.
Liphook & Ripsley could be cheered on by as many as 500 fans at Lord’s in Sunday’s National Village Cup final against Flixton.
“Interest locally is amazing, with people flocking to the final by car, bus, coach and a potentially packed Sunday morning train,” enthused Liphook skipper Charles Janczur.
“To say its exciting is an understatement. None of us imagined we’d be in a Lord’s final when the run started with that narrow win at Sparsholt five months ago.
“But it’s going to be a very special day for everyone and we naturally want to make it count.”
Liphook followers will see a full strength side emerge from the historic Long Room and down on to the hallowed turf, with batsman/wicketkeeper Grant Rouse (left) added to the side that beat Mayfield in the semi-finals.
The inclusion of Rouse frees up Harry Munt to bat at three and bowl his spin stuff alongside the evergreen Dave Elliott.
Flixton expect to field four Under-17s in their line-up, including Jack Hatton, who at 15 years of age has only just begun his GCSE year at school and will probably be the youngest cricketer to ever play in an adult Lord’s final.
Flixton set off on the 250-mile trek from their Scarborough base early on Saturday morning, boosted by the fact that Yorkshire sides have won numerous Village Cup finals at Lord’s in recent seasons.
Flixton: R Malthouse, S Stocks, T Norman, W Hutchinson, W Norman, M Nesfield, H Walmsley, J Hatton, C Stephenson, J Nesfield, M Ward.
Liphook & Ripsley: Ryan Covey, Rob Nicklin, Harry Munt, Suman Ganguly, George Neave, Grant Rouse, Jonny Pryce, Richard Williams, Sean Burton, Charles Janczur (capt), Jamie Hall, Chris Martin, Dave Elliott.
* Gates open at 10am, with play starting at 11am.