THE 2014 FINAL
Essex v Cheshire
16th September 2014 at At Great Oakley CC, Northamptonshire
(Essex won the toss): Cheshire 146-8, 45 ovs (S Yates 31, John Elliot 2-12); Essex 147-3, 45 ovs (A Lal 78, Simon Sargent 48 not out) Essex won by 7 wickets
A 150 mile round trip from Norfolk – Huntingdon – Great Oakley saw a myriad of weather conditions: fog, drizzle, rain and a sea fret. The ground, on arrival at 11am was incredibly foggy and the outfield was literally saturated. Midday and there was slight evidence of change.
Cheshire lost the toss. But it is alleged Leesy would have batted anyway? Cheshire didn’t start badly and in fact, after 10 overs, were circa 26. But already the Essex seamers, Keith Mitchell and John Thomas were in charge with frequent off side slashes by the openers ending up in the keepers gloves. 33/0 in 12. Marginal. Then Sharp attempted yet another offside cut nicely into the keeper’s hands. No 1 for Mr Sims. No 2 a few minutes later when no 3 Chris Leech tried the same thing with left arm spinner Martin Southwell. 34/2 Steve Yates had concentrated hard for his 31, without ever appearing confident and no 3 for Sims as the miserly John Elliott induced yet another caught behind. 52/3. Bernie Bishop (9) and Colin Norbury (20) attempted to build an innings of note, but the spinners ruled. Southwell and Elliott collectively bowled 18 overs, 5 maidens (all to the superb Elliott), 36 runs, 4 wickets and these two effectively ruined Cheshire.
From then on it was ‘what will Cheshire get?’........... Luckily for Cheshire, as in most teams, Essex’ no 5 bowler isn’t in the same class as the top 4. So the fifth bowlers went for 57 and Howard Morris and Rob Worsley used their bottom hand for what it was designed for on a sticky wicket, poaching 36 runs in 40 balls.
But the vast experience on the boundaries edge all reckoned it was already Essex’s match . And so it proved. The temperature by now was well over 70°, scorching hot and the Essex openers survived some close calls. But they were still there. Lal, Al as I call him, (Amarjit to his Mum and Dad), was looking ultra confident, as was Nigel Bloch, the League’s leading run scorer. Suddenly Bloch pulled up lame. He was lbw to Howard Morris for 13.
Malcolm Wright, having received a not out for a caught behind, got some northern treatment from behind and to the right. A stand off and a respite...... but immediately then was comprehensively bowled by spinner Andy Hayes for 1. 48/2. The Over 60’s are still capable of sledging, Australian style.......
However, Lal and Simon Sargent didn’t look at all perturbed and without any hysterics pushed the score further and further onwards. Lal played some lovely drives, as did Sargent, and it was a surprise when Lal, undisputedly MOM, succumbed for 78, lbw Morris in 107 balls.. Sargent can be well pleased with his unbeaten 40, as Essex came through in 33.5 overs
Cheshire, 3 times holders in 6 years, can hold their heads up high having beaten some strong teams on the way, but it just wasn’t their day from the start.
A massive thanks to Mick and Vilma York at Great Oakley Cricket Club, for the hard work on the ground and all the lovely food and drink, to Maya Isterling and Frances Brown for scoring and Mervyn Mann and Trevor Finch for Umpiring. Also to Steve Edwards for stepping in after Oakham became unavailable.
The scorecards of the Final and all other Playoff matches are on Play-Cricket
Other 2014 Finals
2nd XI Final:
24th September at Dunstable (Yorkshire won the toss): Kent 129-9, 45 ovs (D Chapman 3-22); Yorkshire 118, 43.1 ovs (B North 3-21): Kent won by 11 runs.
2nd XI Plate:
19th September at Kidderminster (Cheshire won the toss): Cheshire 112-8, 30 ovs (Stephen Wilson 3-12, Mike Litchfield 3-31); Hertfordshire 114-4, 29 ovs. Hertfordshire won by 6 wkts.
2nd XI Bowl:
24th September at Horsley & Send CC (Wales won the toss): Surrey 186-7, 43 ovs (John Parkins 68, Roger Edwards 4-42); Wales 86, 31.4 ovs (Robert Brown 5-10). Surrey won by 100 runs.
Over 70s Champions: Worcestershire 229 pts; Runners-up, Sussex 226 pts
Over 60s 3rd XI Champions: Hertfordshire