Will summer ever properly appear in 2012? Sadly the weather took more casualties in the Kingfisher Beer Cup on Sunday but some matches managed to take advantage of a dry day to play their fifth round fixture.
The first of those matches to beat the rain was York v Ockbrook & Borrowash, with the Yorkshire Premier League able to host a fixture after weeks of rain. The hosts won the toss and decided to have a bat against the Derbyshire Premier League visitors and the opening pair of Duncan Snell and Liam McKendry put on 60 for the first wicket before Gareth Young forced an edge off McKendry, caught behind by Ockbrook & Borrowash ‘keeper Jonathan Guthrie.
This wicket was followed with further successes as 60-1 became 101-5, with Young and Lian Wharton taking two wickets each. This brought together Simon Lambert and Marcus Wood and this pair put on 67 runs for the sixth wicket. Lambert fell for 40 but Wood was joined by Tom Pringle to provide some impetus to the end of the York innings as the home side finished on 215-8 from their 45 overs.
In reply Ockbrook & Borrowash got off to a disastrous start, losing both openers Matthew Cassar and Guthrie for ducks, both off the bowling of Snell. This brought Alistair Dixon and ex-Derbyshire batsman and Ockbrook & Borrowash captain Jake Needham to the crease who began to stabilise the innings before Needham was caught behind by Steve Crossley, one of four catches along with a stumping for the York wicketkeeper. Dixon continued to bat sensibly but partners at the other end were falling at regular intervals. Only one other Ockbrook & Borrowash batsman managed to reach double figures as the visitors were dismissed for just 93, Dixon left on 39 not out as York booked their place in the Quarter Finals by 122 runs.
In a far closer encounter, two Premier League leaders went head to head as South Wilts entertained Bridgwater. The hosts, from the Southern Premier League, won the toss and batted first which looked to be an error as Bridgwater opening bowler Ian Bishop reduced South Wilts to 5-3, removing captain Tom Morton, Stephen Riddle and Eddie Abel. It was left to Jack Mynott and James Hayward to restore some order to the hosts batting and the pair slowly rebuilt the South Wilts innings with a partnership of 67. Hayward was caught by Chris Skidmore off the bowling of Michael Coles for 33 but Mynott continued to bat well as he and James Hibberd put on 87 for the fifth wicket as the hosts made it to 159-4 from their 45 overs, Mynott finishing on a patient 78 not out from 123 balls, Bishop the pick of the Bridgwater bowler with 3-10 from his 9 overs.
Bridgwater, from the West of England Premier League, looked comfortable in reply. Despite losing openers Merv Hallaran and Mitchell Windsor, Chris Gange and Tom Clarke moved the score onto 98-2. However, after Gange was dismissed by Robert Franklin for 36, this quickly became 110-5. Clarke, who had steadily moved onto 41, was then removed by Jack Sheppard who then also bowled both ex-Derbyshire and Somerset all-rounder Steffan Jones and Bishop, Sheppard finishing with 4-25. This brought Ed Habberfield and Skidmore together still requiring 15 for victory and with overs running out but these two kept calm and with one needed from the final ball, Habberfield struck a boundary to give Bridgwater the win by just two wickets.
Bowler friendly conditions greeted the teams as Neston hosted Kidderminster Victoria and it was the Birmingham & District Premier League team that won this low scoring match. After being asked to bat first, Kidderminster Victoria openers captain Jonathan Wright and Andrew Kimberlin batted steadily before both fell in the twenties. Many of the visitors batsmen made it into double figures but the bowling of Chris Finegan (4-40) kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Neston quickly removed the tail to leave Kidderminster Victoria 114 all out from just 33.5 overs.
Unfortunately for Cheshire County Premier League side Neston, the visiting bowlers enjoyed the conditions even more and after Richard Kimberlin removed the first three Neston batsmen, Neil Pinner and Mark Mansell got into the action and the home side crumbled. Only two players reached double figures as they were dismissed for just 62 in 28.2 overs, Mansell the pick of the Kidderminster Victoria bowlers with 4-7 from 7.2 overs to book themselves a home tie against Bamford Fieldhouse in the Quarter Finals.
In the final of the four fifth round matches that managed to take place, Brentwood and Barnt Green came together, but only after a great deal of effort by both clubs. With both Brentwood and Barnt Green’s home grounds unplayable and both teams keen to avoid further fixture congestion, Barnt Green took advantage of Kidderminster Victoria’s away trip to Neston and managed to secure their ground for this match. Barnt Green will be thankful that they did as they came out on top in a close match, setting Brentwood a target of 180 all out, they dismissed the Essex Premier League side for 170 to book their place in the last eight.
The three remaining fifth round ties, Chorley v Cuckney, Havant v Teddington and Tunbridge Wells v Wanstead & Snaresbrook, will all take place on Sunday 22nd July with the Quarter Finals scheduled for Sunday 29th July.
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