THE two finalists for this year’s Church Times Cricket Cup Final were decided on Monday. London will aim to make it three wins in a row, a feat not managed since the early 1990s were dominated by a strong Oxford team. Their opponents will be Guildford, who won in 2007 and 2011. The two sides have never met in a Church Times final.
Guildford secured their place in the final with a victory over Chichester at Normandy CC on Monday. Guildford opted to bat first, and made a slow and steady start. Their openers, Owen (the captain) and Thomas, made 39 and 42 respectively.
The most notable incident of the game was when the Guildford captain caught his own top scorer. Martin had made a quick-fire 56 before being caught by Owen, subbing as a fielder for just one over. Chichester’s Peterson had been injured in the outfield, and had to be taken to A & E. (He was later discharged with a heavily bandaged hand.)
Wickets then tumbled, and Guildford were all out in the last over for 179 runs. Before his injury, Peterson had bowled a tight six overs for the loss of 11 runs. Burston took three wickets for 27, Scrivener another three for 45.
In reply, Chichester batted with energy and intent. Nobody, however, was able to stay at the wicket for any length of time. Ethridge was their top scorer, with 31 runs. Prior, Taylor, and Newton took two wickets apiece. Chichester were all out for 102 after 28 overs.
Salisbury took on London at Marlborough under showery skies, in a repeat of the semi-final two years ago. London won the toss and put Salisbury in. It seemed a good decision when Lee had Bradbury bowled in the second over with the score on just two.
Shortly after, came the first of two rain interruptions, which lasted about 45 minutes. On the resumption, two further wickets followed. The dangerous Rimmer was brilliantly caught by Marshall in the gully off Kendall, and Jack fell to Allerton, leaving Salisbury looking exposed on 34-3.
Then the sun came out, the wicket began to dry, and Salisbury got among the runs. Two 50-partnerships followed: between Patterson and Strain, and Patterson and Windsor, taking Salisbury to 183-5 in their 40 overs. Patterson carried his bat for a magnificent 106 not out. (Salisbury 183-5: Patterson 106 not out, Windsor 19, Lee 1-16, Rylands 2-30)
Buoyed by the second half of their innings, Salisbury took early wickets. A terrible mix-up between the openers Moffat and Beeby had Beeby run out for four runs. Lee went first ball to Seymour, and when Moffat gloved a Jack long hop to the keeper, London were in big trouble on 18-3.
As with Salisbury, there was a second half to London’s innings. Allerton and Rylands came together, and, after taking some time to settle, put on a match-winning partnership. Allerton hit seven sixes on his way to a wonderful 123 not out, and Rylands played the perfect foil, making 35 and giving Allerton the strike when needed. London reached their target of 184 from 35 overs.
The final will be played at the Walker ground in Southgate, north London, on Thursday 3 September. All are welcome.
Guildford 179 all out (Martin 56, Thomas 42, Owen 39; Burston 3 for 27, Scrivener 3 for 45. Chichester 102 all out (Ethridge 31). Guildford won by 77 runs.
Salisbury 183 for 5 (Paterson 106 not out; Rylands 2 for 30, Lee 1 for 16). London 185 for 3 (Allerton 123 not out, Rylands 35 not out; Seymour 1 for 25). London won by 7 wickets.