Monday 3 December 2007 

ECB Cockspur Cup 2007: Round 6

Chester-le-Street (193 for 4) beat Caythorpe (193 for 8) by losing fewer wickets
West Indian Cavaliers (205 all out) beat Lytham (156 all out) by 49 runs
Kidderminster (64 for 3) beat Hyde 137 (all out) on run rate
Kibworth (158 for 3) beat Northern (156 for 9) by 7 wickets
St Just (168 for 5) beat Weston super Mare (165 for 9) by 5 wickets
Henley (175 for 5) beat Totton & Eling (173 for 8) by 5 wickets
Cambridge Granta (170 all out) beat Preston Nomads (170 all out) on count back
Bromley (182 for 9) beat Stanmore (174 for 9) by 8 runs

A series of sodden walkovers gave way to a bout of sun-blessed thrillers in the sixth round of the 2007 Cockspur Cup with some cruel deciders closing off the group stages.

Kidderminster visited Banbury for the Group 7 final and the hosts set a challenging target with Christopher Smith scoring 101 and Craig Haupt 66 to steer their side to 232-5. Kidderminster Victoria made steady progress in reply and finally reached their target with five wickets remaining but just one ball to spare.

In London, Simon Hawk underpinned a robust 264-7 total for Ealing with another substantial innings of 107. Henley made a strong start to chasing down the total with three of their batsmen scoring half centuries as they made a concerted team effort to win the match. At the start of the last over, seven runs were required for outright victory but they managed only six runs to tie the match leaving the visitors as victors by virtue of losing fewer wickets.

There was an even closer contest in Sussex where Cambridge Granta beat Preston Nomads on count-back. Preston Nomads won the toss and batted first. Rob Wakefield top scored with 59 while Tom Harvey took 4-32 as the home side were dismissed for 170 in 41.2 overs. As the Cambridge Granta innings neared its conclusion, tension mounted and Owen Kernan (4-20) thought he had gone a long way to winning the match when he produced a double-wicket maiden but Cambridge Granta were indebted to an innings of 36 from Harvey as they reached 170-9.

Their final wicket fell in 41.3 overs with scores level leading to a round of chaos and confusion until the umpires determined that Cambridge Granta were winners on count-back. Scores had also been level after 41 overs but after 40 overs of each innings, Granta were just one run ahead!

In Cornwall, only one match was played in the whole county but last years semi-finalists St Just showed their credentials with a convincing five wicket win over Weston-super-Mare.

Visitors Weston batted first and looked to be progressing nicely with an opening partnership of 58, dominated by an Andy Fear half-century. Then tight bowling by St Just, in particular Mark George (2-15), restricted Weston to a total of 165-9. With the strong St Just batting line-up, this never looked to be a big enough total and a second wicket partnership of 76 between Gary Thomas (56) and Kieran Noema-Barnett (40) swung the match firmly in St Just's favour to win a place in the quarter finals against either Henley or Totton & Eling (Hampshire).

Kibworth, the 2004 champions hosted Northern, and were lucky to beat the bad weather experienced by West Indian Cavaliers and Caythorpe who both had their home games rained off. Northern batted first and were soon in trouble at 21-4 but Nick Woods batted well for his 64 as the Northern innings closed on 156-9. Kibworth, led by a second wicket stand of 92 between Sundeep Patel (60) and Josh Cobb (62 in 64 balls), charged to victory by seven wickets with 13 overs to spare.

Bromley squeezed past a Stanmore side struggling in the league yet enjoying a fantastic cup run. Hearts were in mouths as the Middlesex side fell just 8 runs short.

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