Northumbria Winners of the National Final
Northumbria beat Staffordshire 5 wickets in the Police Credit Union cricket final, a game dominated in most parts Northumbria.
Having won the toss Staffordshire elected to bat on an excellent surface at the Fischer ground and made a steady start through openers Duncan Lampitt and Jonathan Cumberbatch, putting on 47 for the first wicket, which fell in the 11th over to the bowling of Matthew Storey.
Neil Podmore joined Cumberbatch and they shared a stand of 73 from 18 overs until Matthew Storey bowled Podmore for 33. Cumberbatch was joined by Kevin Royce and they scored steadily with Staffordshire looking set for a score in excess of 250 before the rain caused a short delay, the only delay of the game. Upon the resumption of Staffordshire’s innings they failed to score as freely as they were and Northumbria took control.
A key moment was in the 37 over when Cumberbatch was given out LBW to the bowling of Jon Sadler for 71 with the score on 157-3, when he had looked set for a three figure score. The loss of Cumberbatch really did seem to take the impetus out of Staffordshire’s innings who then limped to 210-7 in the remaining 8 overs. Only Kevin Royce scored a respectively 37.
Northumbria bowled and fielded very well throughout in a disciplined performance. Their wickets were shared around with the stand out bowler being Matthew Storey 2-23 from 9 overs. The other wickets fell to Mick Orridge 2-46, Jon Sadler 1-47, Steve Patterson 2-54.
Northumbria knowing they only required 211 to win from 45 overs at 4.5 an over on a batting friendly wicket and a fast outfield sent in pinch hitter Jonny Storey to open with David Bailey. Staffordshire made an early breakthrough in the 3rd over with captain, Pete Finch, bowling Jonny Storey for 0. However that was the only wicket they took for another 16 overs as Bailey and Shaun Smith put on 74 easy runs in those 16 overs until Gareth Morris removed Shaun Smith for 49 and then Martin Golightly with the next ball for 0, both LBW.
This encouraged Staffordshire but only briefly as Bailey and new batsman Dave Newstead then put on 64 in 13 overs. Staffordshire dropped both batsmen when the score was around 100-3, which didn’t help Staffordshire’s cause. Staffordshire eventually broke the partnership, which had seen excellent batting and running from both, when Paul Sims had Newstead stumped by Royce for 49 with score on 145. Bailey passed his 50 but then fell to an excellent catch by Morris off the bowling of Sims for 56 in the 36 over.
This bought Matthew Storey and Greg Williams together who ran, a now tired looking Staffordshire, ragged with excellent running between the wickets, easily turning 1’s into 2’s and so on. Matthew Storey hit the winning runs in the 41st over, finishing on 41 not out. An innings, combined with his tight bowling (2-23) rightfully earned him the Man of the Match award.
The game was played in a fantastic way, the true spirit of cricket, so much so umpires Dan Pedley and Ray Knowles were untroubled all afternoon. Soon after receiving their winners’ trophy Northumbria and Staffordshire were celebrating and commiserating together in each other’s dressing rooms, sharing the odd beer or two, which encapsulated the friendly and healthy atmosphere both forces had created all day – and in to the night.
From everyone involved in the organisation of this tournament, our thanks go to our sponsors Police Credit Union, ARC Legal Services, Leicestershire County Cricket Club and all of the force secretaries. Finally our congratulations go to Northumbria.