The conclusion of the Northamptonshire U19 T20 Cup took place on Sunday with four teams competing in two semi-finals and a final at St Crispin & Ryelands Cricket Club.
Stony Stratford, Overstone Park, Burton Latimer and Kettering were the four competing teams with a fantastic day of T20 cricket ahead of them.
Stony Stratford took home the trophy after a scintillating final v Overstone Park that went down to a super over.
The first semi-final saw a young U19s Burton Latimer team overwhelmed by Overstone Park who batted first and scored an imposing 247-6 from their 20 overs, with Joe Sterling and Bertie Dunkley both retiring with scores over fifty. In reply, Burton Latimer closed on 99-6 to lose by 148 runs. Opener George Wittering made 30 for Burton and Bertie Dunkley completed a fine all-round match with 4-20.
Stony Stratford batted first in the second semi-final and started brightly with Oscar Watson making 45. A mid innings collapse though saw them lose six wickets for 33 runs. The lower order rallied and they posted 185-9 from their 20 overs. James Hogg with 4-25 being the pick of the Kettering bowlers. The Kettering innings also started well with Harry Tanser scoring 38, but the Stony Stratford bowlers maintained tight lines to restrict Kettering to 170-7 and win by 15 runs. Two wickets each for George Oldershaw, Joseph Mullaney and Anish Katechia, whose lower order runs had proved so vital to clinching his team’s place in the final.
This setup the final between Stony Stratford and Overstone Park, where Stony Stratford batted first and were soon in trouble – slumping to 33-5 by the 7th over with Archie Dunkley (3-19) making the early in-roads. He was ably backed up by Adam Davies, Stan Kirk and Bertie Dunkley who each picked up two wickets. By the end of their 20 overs Stony Stratford had stuttered to 88-9 with George Oldershaw and Louis Gulliver both making 16.
In the Overstone Park innings, the struggle for runs continued. They too lost early wickets and found themselves 30-5 in the 9th over after two fine catches at mid-on by Khush Shah off the bowling of Joe Mullaney. A partnership of 27, including 17 from one over between Charles Sales and Khish Bhatt steadied the ship, but wickets continued to tumble. Going into the last over, Overstone Park required 6 runs to win with two wickets remaining. A fine diving stop and direct hit by Charles Oldershaw saw Bhatt run out for 13 mid over and a bye run off the last ball took Overstone Park level at 88-9 meaning a super over was required to separate the two teams.
Joe Mullaney bowled the super over for Stony Stratford and had Joe Sterling caught on the boundary by Charles Oldershaw first ball. A single was scored by Charles Sales and then Justin Murphy was clean bowled leaving Stony Stratford requiring just 2 runs to win, which they did when Charles Oldershaw hit the required runs from Adam Davies’ second ball.
It was a thrilling end to a day that was a great advert for U19s T20 cricket. The competition started with 14 teams from across the county competing and over 200 participants were involved, from all teams. Our thanks go to St Crispins and Ryelands Cricket Club for staging the finals day.
Stony Stratford U19s will now represent Northamptonshire in the East Midlands U19s regional finals day on Sunday September 18th, hosted by Derbyshire, including the county winners from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.