It was a glorious sunny day with temperatures in the mid to late 20’s that greeted Dyfed-Powys and Nottinghamshire to the County Ground Derby.
This year would be Dyfed’s eighth final in the last nine years having been crowned Champions five times and runners-up twice during this period of time.
Nottinghamshire would be competing in their 10th Final since 1975 having won it on six previous occasions, the last being in 2008 and runners-up three times.
The overwhelming favourites would be Dyfed whose ranks boasted several current and past British Police representatives whilst Nottinghamshire would be looking to put up a sterner test in comparison to the previous encounter between the two sides.
Jon Ellis (Notts) won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat on a new wicket.
James Hirst and Harry Bhaker were soon into their stride with an array of boundaries from the outset. Hirst in particular played aggressively cashing in on some loose bowling and taking advantage of the "power play" overs. His 50 came up in 30 minutes off 36 balls including 10 boundaries. He was out for 59 (46 balls) caught behind by Evans attempting to sweep leg-spinner Grant.
The opening partnership had yielded 85 runs in 41 minutes. Miller joined Bhaker and the pair continued what Hirst had started maintaining a run rate of six.
With the score on 98 Bhaker became Grant's second victim to another sharp catch by Evans and he was shortly followed by Hendry to the same combination. Ellis chipped in with a quick fire 26 before skying Grant to mid off leaving Notts on 111-4.
The run rate had been checked by the spin of Dyfed but as McKenzie joined Miller a substantial total was still beckoning with plenty of overs remaining. The pair had taken the total to 168 with relative ease when a terrible mix up of "yes, no, wait, sorry" saw them both standing at the same end. Miller trudged off slowly.
From this point on the Notts batsmen were unable to capitalise on the start they had been given with wickets falling at regular intervals. The Final total of 215 all out was down to a last-wicket stand of 25 between Baig and Holloway.
Whilst this was at least a competitive score Notts would have been disappointed not to have reached 240-250.
Gareth Grant finished with four for 39 and whilst Richard Grant chipped in with three for 24 having reverted to his off-spin following a couple of overs of seam with the new ball. Huw Evans claimed four dismissals including a stumping.
So at tea Dyfed will have no doubt been felt confident that they could overhaul the total set by Notts.
This seemed to prove correct as Richard Grant and Huw Evans began the Dyfed response with Grant in particular in a belligerent mood hitting five fours in 11 balls before hitting one back to Hirst in the fourth over with the score on 28.
Gary Williams (11) was caught behind by Bhaker off Caunt who had replaced Hisrt (1-32 off four) then Evans (22) was smartly caught by Bhaker off the bowling of McKenzie who had replaced Baig. This left Dyfed on 67-3.
The Notts bowling was now much more disciplined and forced Simon Cole and Mark Davies to play with caution. The pair gradually took the score to 133 when Davies holed out to Hirst off McKenzie for 22.
Cole meanwhile was grinding out an innings accumulating runs with the occasional boundary. He was however dropped by Bhaker off a thick edge as he went to cut McKenzie.
The other Dyfed batsmen were now finding it difficult to score as Gareth Hughes (10) chipped one to Miller leaving the total on 154-5.
The introduction of Pete Crawley pegged them back even further as the 'wily' spinner wheeled away. The Sky 'revometer' was working overtime as he 'nicked' off Gareth Grant (14) and Andy Williams (8) leaving Dyfed teetering on 199-7.
Meanwhile at the other end Simon Cole remained solid reaching his 50 off 72 balls and 93 minutes at the crease. With tension mounting Ellis introduced Dan 'Hostile' Holloway into the attack and was immediately rewarded with the wicket of Gary Phillips (5) bowled by the perfect yorker.
As Notts strived for the final two wickets Rob Seymour hit Holloway through the infield for the winning boundary to see Dyfed home by two wickets with two overs to spare.
This was without doubt the most competitively fought final for many years. The game swung both ways throughout the day. Could Notts have won if they had scored another 30 or 40 and not bowled 34 extras? Tight games can be decided on these tight margins.
That said Dyfed-Powys were worthy and deserved winners and experience had seem them to victory thanks to a Man of the Match performance by Simon Cole who remained 66 not out from 88 balls.
Gareth Grant was presented the City of London Cup by Peter Evans (CEO Police Credit Union). This was the sixth time in nine years that Dyfed have now been crowned Champions.
Jon Ellis received the Sussex Bowl, the first silverware for Nottinghamshire since 2008.
Simon Cole received the HNL Blenkin Cup for his match winning innings.
Finally PSUK Cricket would like to take this opportunity to thank Police Credit Union for their Sponsorship of the Competition. This is their third year of support and we hope they will continue to Sponsor Police Cricket in future years.
J. Hirst c Evans b G Grant 59
H. Bhaker c Evans b G Grant 28
C. Miller run out 25
M. Hendry c Evans b G Grant 7
J. Ellis c Hughes b G Grant 26
N. McKenzie c Seymour b A Williams 16
P. Crawley b R Grant 2
R. Hunter lbw R Grant 2
J. Caunt c & b R Grant 8
J. Baig st Evans b Cole 15
D. Holloway not out 10
TOTAL 215 all out (44.2 overs)
FOW: 1-85 2-98 3-109 4-118 5-164 6-176 7-176 8-187 9-190 10-215
M Williams 6-0-39-0
R Grant 9-3-24-3
A Williams 9-0-55-1
G Grant 9-2-39-4
M Davies 9-0-36-0
S Cole 1.2-0-8-1
R Seymour 1-0-3-0
R. Grant c & b Hirst 23
H. Evans c Bhaker b McKenzie 22
G.Williams c Bhaker b Caunt 11
S. Cole not out 66
M. Davies c Hirst b McKenzie 22
G. Hughes c Miller b Baig 10
G. Grant c McKenzie b Crawley 14
A.Williams lbw Crawley 8
G. Phillips b Holloway 5
R. Seymour not out 4
TOTAL 219-8 (42.4 overs)
FOW: 1-28 2-56 3-67 4-133 5-154 6-183 7-199 8-204
Man of the Match – Simon Cole (Dyfed-Powys)