Chipps vs Middleton
To be completely honest, a lot of the better cricket came from a very young, but talented Middleton team. They posted a very competitive 182 for 6, with Harry Leaver and Murray Carter both amongst the runs.
They then bowled with great discipline at times, and when Chipps were closing in to victory, Middleton took 3 quick wickets to send jitters through the watching Chipps supporters, before Harvey Thompson calmly stroked the winning runs through the covers to secure a nail biting Chipps victory.
The fact that Chipps got so far was much to do with the resourceful and patient batting of the ever unflappable Oli Rozario, who stood firm for over 30 overs, nudging and nurdling his way to an imperious 67. He lost 6 partners along the way, Samuel Avinou to an early slip catch and Callum Harvey to a well played 34, were first to go. Finlay Wood and Ash Khan also went cheaply, but in between, Tom Day stuck around with Oli in a vital 56 run partnership. Tom played with typical agression, but when these two bat together, a run out is always a distinct possibility, and so it proved again, as the two batsman exchanged pleasantries mid pitch, as the run out was completed with the score at 141 for 4.
Earlier in the day, the Middleton openers had got off to a flier, as Harry Leaver took Ash Khan for 3 4’s and a 6 over long on. Ash continued to bowl short, and it was only the introduction of the returning Callum Harvey (from Somerset duty) that stemmed the flow of runs and picked up the vital wicket of the fluent Leaver. Finlay Wood nipped in with a handy run out and Middleton were 91 for 2 at drinks.
Murray continued with his fine stroke play, and rather generously declared his innings on 54 (his maiden 50), to give others a bat, but this enabled Chipps to pick up some vital wickets (and points), through Adam Spinks, Sean Gilbert and another run out.
A target of 183 was always achievable against a young Middleton side, especially with Samuel in top form and with Callum in the ranks. However, Oli Rozario showed again what he is capable of with the most mature of innings. He only perished when trying to smash the winning runs off the bowling of Sam Green, but when Sam struck again in that over, Chipps were suddenly 181 for 8, with the Middleton fielders closing in on a possible thrilling victory.
Fortunately for Chipps, Harvey stroked those last two runs to complete a thrilling victory.
Middleton will be proud of their young guns, with the runs scored, the tight overs bowled, the wickets taken and the catches completed.
10 year olds Dill Howell and Will Fountain shone out with the ball, but they were not the only ones.
Chipps will be relieved that they ended on the right side of this result and will have to up their game in the coming matches, if they are to repeat the Bowl Final victory in 2015.
Well played to all the players from both sides for a nerve jangling spectacle.
Chipps player of the match – Oli Rozario