Round 2 saw lots of low-scoring affairs as many teams struggled under the pressure of their regional quarter-finals. Some clubs, though, performed valiantly in booking their places in the regional semi-finals with several classy hundreds and a run-out fest, in particular, making our list of the noteworthy events from the second round clashes.

Champions out – Beds & Herts
Langleybury v Reed
Reed will have entered the game with confidence, knowing they were reigning supreme after their Lord’s victory last September. They were undone in the first fixture of 2018 however, Langleybury’s 187 proved too much on the day, Reed only managing 160 in reply.

It would suggest we will be seeing a new winner of the competition of recent times, with Sessay now fielding a 2nd XI owing to their premier league status.

Stick a Fawk in ‘em – Kent
Bidborough v Fawkham Guzzlers
Fawkham Guzzlers – who feature a number of Billings’ family – came to regret their decision to field after winning the toss at the Arthur Nicholson Recreational Ground as Bidborough built up a 107-run opening partnership on their way to a of 242 all out. Opener Patrick Rossiter did most of the damage with an innings of 73 including 12 fours while there were handy contributions too from captain James Baldock and opener Charlie Harding, who carried his bat with an extremely patient 29.

Having both received byes in the first round, this was the opening game of the tournament for both sides and a potential batting rust showed as Fawkham, in reply, were reduced to 18 for 4 and 48 for 8 with Dale Hillhouse and Daniel Page taking two wickets apiece as Bilborough ran through their opponents’ top order. The most extraordinary feature of the match came as the hosts produced three run outs during Fawkham’s innings, two from substitute fielders, as they ran out rampant winners by 166 runs.

Bidborough meet in-form Offham in the next round.

Lacock v Redlynch & Hale – Dorset & Wiltshire
In a meeting of two Dorset & Wiltshire regional semi-finalists from 2017, a supreme effort in the field from Lacock saw them romp to a handsome victory over Redlynch & Hale, booking their place in the third round and a tie with Witchampton on May 27.

After being put into bat, Lacock’s top order built a solid foundation as Adam Mitchell’s 78 from 80 balls, including nine fours and two sixes, helped his side post 258 for 8 from their 40 overs. In response, Redlynch & Hale wobbled at the start of their innings as two wickets from Leigh Rogers reduced them to 38-3. Despite a short-lived recovery, wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals as Sam Thompson and J Walker each took three scalps as Lacock secured victory by a commanding 133 runs.

This tie was the only of the region to barely see three-figured scores – Witchampton successfully defended 92 against Goatacre who managed 58 in their reply. Burbage & Easton Royal were skittled for 94 which was knocked off by Shrewton by 10 wickets. Aldbourne just nudged past 100 against Parley. Parley chased down the 104 runs scored again without losing any wickets.

Wingin’ it – Derbyshire
South Wingfield v Riddings
Last year’s Derbyshire regional winners South Wingfield eased their way into the third round with a 195-run victory over Riddings at their Holme Lane ground.

After putting their opponents into bat, the visitors Ridding may have been lulled into a false sense of security as they struck early. However, a sensational 211-run partnership between centurions Andrew Wilson, 106 from 110 balls, and Alexander Mace, 121 from 90 balls including six sixes, before a heavy-hitting barrage from Liam Mitchell, 66 from 29 balls, moved South Wingfield to 323 for 4 from their 40.

Riddings, after a positive start, collapsed from 83-1 to 102-7 in reply as they eventually succumbed to a 185-run defeat.

One-man team – Herefordshire & Powys
Aston Ingham v Brampton Bryan
Aston Ingham booked their place in the regional semi-finals largely thanks to a stunning performance from wicketkeeper Josh Loade whose 152 not out made up exactly half of his team’s score of 304 for 5 before Loade then also managed to get a stumping in the field.

Brampton made a good fist of the chase to begin with, reaching 149 for 1 as Ed Williams and O Williams both hit fifties. Tim Dulson’s 3 for 36 turned the tide in Aston’s favour however as they ran out winners by 111 runs.

Nail-biter – East Sussex
Mayfield v Plumpton & East Chiltington
Mayfield, who reached the national last 16 in 2017, won a thrilling regional second round contest as they overcame Plumpton & East Chiltington by 1 run.

After Chris Batchelor’s five-wicket haul reduced Mayfield to a score of 189, Plumpton & East Chiltington started reasonably well before Mayfield’s Will Robertshaw bowled a fine spell of 3 for 27 from seven overs to halt Plumpton in their tracks. With time running out, No.9 Harry Carr ended up stranded as Plumpton ended their 40 overs an agonising one run short of their target.

Buxted Park await Mayfield in the regional semi-finals.

The full draw for round 3 can be viewed here

Brad West