The quarter-finals were completed on Sunday with the final four teams decided. Below is a round-up of the results.
North Perrott vs Liphook & Ripsley
Cup fever is consuming the village of Liphook with its cricketers now only a single victory away from an appearance at Lord’s.
Liphook & Ripsley were hosted by Somerset champions North Perrott in a high-scoring quarter-final, won after the away team chased down North Perrott’s 243 losing only four wickets.
The early signs at Wills Lane were in favour of a North Perrott victory when openers George Letter (69) and 15-year-old Jamie Baird (43) put on 112. Thereafter, there were industrious contributions by John Ireland (45) and skipper Jake Symes (54), as the total climbed above 200. Fortunately for Liphook, Ryan Covey (2-43) and Suman Ganguly (3-41) took important late wickets with some superb death bowling which gave the momentum back to Liphook, North Parrott completing their 40 overs on a challenging 243 for 7 but below what was expected with 10 overs remaining.
When Liphook lost Rob Nicklin and Ryan Covey cheaply, a stand of 93 in even time between a determined Harry Munt (61) and Ganguly (51), was vital and began to turn the game. Ganguly was unlucky when run out by a deflection from the bowler, bringing George Neave to the crease. Arguably man of the match, Neave took responsibility for leading his side victory with a well judged 70 not out (10 fours and 1 six). He was supported by a late cameo by Rich Williams (26*), pressing the total to 246 for 4 and winning the match with a towering six from Neave over extra cover to start rapturous celebrations from the away support.
An optimistic Liphook & Ripsley, who had already defeated opponents from Hampshire, Oxford and Berkshire, and now Somerset, travel to Mayfield CC of Sussex for the semi-final on Sunday 5 August.
Falkland v Folkton & Flixton
Falkland exited the Village Cup on Sunday to a Folkton & Flixton side who, by the opposition’s admission, were an excellent team who were the better side with their ground fielding a sight to behold. Folkton won the toss, and put Falkland into bat. Falkland’s innings got off to a slow start, but picked up once Grant Doig and Ben Strachan got going on the firm foundation laid by the earlier batsmen. Both men perished soon after reaching 50, and then only Adam Ferguson’s 22 not out was significant as the tail failed to wag. Nevertheless the 187 for 9 set was a competitive total.
For a long time, things were level pegging with, if anything, Falkland holding the edge until a stand of 94 between Hutchinson and Norman made all the difference. Even then there were a few wobbles to give Falkland some hope until until Jamie Nesfield hit the winning four which put Folkton & Flixton into the semi-final with three wickets and 11 balls to spare.
Falkland have little to be ashamed of. They were gallant losers in what was a sporting encounter played in fine weather in front of a crowd of several hundred spectators including a sizeable contingent from Yorkshire. Falkland did Scotland proud, and the hospitality was first class with a piper and a game played at the tea interval by some of their All Stars.
Worlington v Mayfield
Worlington have been the hottest club in the competition coming into this tie – three of their batsmen held places in the top 10 run-scoring charts including Nos.1 and 2. Mayfield of Sussex however are known for the tight bowling with James Allen regularly appearing near the top of the wicket-takers pile. The unstoppable force and the immovable object were soon to clash in Suffolk, with Worlington’s outfield looking something you would see in downtown Karachi.
Mayfield elected to field – to the delight of their bowlers one can only imagine on a day topping 30 degrees Celsius. Worlington started brightly despite the loss of skipper Graham Ford – the aforementioned No.2 in the run charts – with the score on 45. In at No.3 came James Watson who had three hundreds under his belt in the Village Cup and indeed was, and is likely stay, the competition’s top run-scorer. He departed for only 8 however, taking his cup run tally to 500. Fellow opener Ziaf Kulasi went on to score 57 before being dismissed to make the score 104 for 3. After his dismissal, Worlington struggled to find consistency or build partnerships, the Mayfield bowlers turning the screw. They were eventually dismissed for 180 – Kulasi’s 57 remaining the top score. It was the first time Worlington had been bowled out in this year’s competition.
Early breakthroughs would be crucial for Worlington but Mayfield found ways to keep the score ticking over and adding enough runs between wickets to never feel threatened. Callum Saker top scored for Mayfield with 34 but it was innings where all but one batsman had contributed more than 20. They surpassed their opponents having lost four wickets and advance to a home semi-final against Liphook & Ripsley.
Fillongley v Pelsall
The battle for the Midlands was fought out on Sunday between these two sides. Fillongley, near Coventry, were the eventual winners. Visitors Pelsall won the toss and put Fillongley into bat. After a reasonable start Fillongley lost their first two wickets with the score on 28. That became 64 for 3 when in-form allrounder Ahsan Sayed departed for 24. Opener Richard Franks was still at the crease however, and his patient 61 from 99 balls shepherded Fillongley to 181 for 6 before he fell to Dan Wale. By this point Sajjad Ali had already established himself on 28 not out and was last man out on 33 – supporting a cameo from Brendan Morgan of 19 from 11 balls. Fillongley were all out for 220 after 39 overs.
A tricky but achieveable total, Pelsall set about chasing it down. Fillongley were taking regular wickets however: 25 for 1 became 58 for 4; and by the time 92 for 6 was on the board, Fillongley were in the driving seat. They were held up by the seventh-wicket partnership of 61 between Wale and captain Danny Pennell but when Wale fell for 46 from 37 balls, Pennell knew it would be a tougher ask with 68 runs still needed. Any hopes of a comeback were soon quashed. Sayed continued his rich wicket-taking form by claiming a hat-trick to win the match no less. Pennell all of a sudden stranded on 37 not out as his side were dismissed for 181. A 39-run victory for Fillongley sees them host Folkton & Flixton in the semis.
Semi-finals take place on August 5.