Tuesday night saw the Semi-Finals of the Bernard Tollett Trophy to determine who will be playing in the showcase Final at Wormsley Cricket Ground on Saturday 18 September.
At Ermont Way, Banbury hosted Oxford Downs in a repeat of last year’s Final where Downs won the toss and elected to field. A quickfire 18 off 8 balls from Richard Simpson saw Banbury get off to a fast start , however Banbury soon found themselves at 42 for 2 with the loss of both openers. An 88 run partnership between Lloyd Sabin 51no off 43 balls and Charlie Hill 48 off 43 balls took Banbury to 130 for 3. The final overs saw wickets tumble with a total of 144 for 6 off their 20 overs. The pick of the Downs bowlers was Tom Costley with 3 for 14 off his 4 overs.
Downs in their reply soon found themselves at 8 for 2 with both wickets for Charlie Hill. Downs never really recovered with only Tom Costley 23 looking like he may turn the game around, however, wickets continued falling at regular intervals until all out for 94 in the 19th over. The pick of Banbury’s bowlers being Charlie Hill with 3 for 7 and Richard Simpson with 3 for 15 supported by excellent all round fielding.
Banbury won by 50 runs. Thanks to Richard Lambden and Martin Thomas for umpiring; Steven Claridge and Simon Davie for scoring.
The Recreation Ground in Horspath saw an altogether tighter affair with the visitors, Aston Rowant coming out on top by 1 run.
Rowant won the toss and elected to bat with Thomas Condon 50 off 55 balls being the mainstay of the innings and a cameo by George Reid 36no off 18 to reach a total of 161 for 5 off their 20 overs. 2 wickets apiece for Lloyd Belcher 2 for 15 and Jehan Mohammad 2 for 22.
In reply, Horspath were in trouble at 35 for 4, however, Tyrone Eyles 28, Anupam Sanklecha 38 and good contributions from the lower order took Horspath to 160 for 8 off their 20 overs. Leo Bethell taking 2 for 16 off his 4 overs; Karl Penhale 2 for 26 off 4 overs and Hayden Rossouw 1 for 12 off 3 overs being the pick of the bowlers.
Thanks to Arun Oram and Kingsley Woodland for umpiring; Simon Groves and Peter Coleman for scoring.
It was great to see 7 of the County’s U18 squad playing across the two games.
Banbury will now face Aston Rowant in the Bernard Tollett Final on Saturday 18 September at Wormsley.
Thank you to all competing teams this season for making the competition so competitive and enjoyable.