It was debut delight for Dearne CC last weekend, as they took ECB Indoor National Club Championship glory on their first ever trip to Lord’s.
Captain Nick Dymock’s side took glory with victory over Welsh side Neyland CC in the semi-final, before dispatching two-time finalists Bridgwater to lift the trophy.
It was Dymock who led by example in the semi-final, leading the way with 41 as Dearne posted an impressive 166-5 from their 12 overs.
Other good knocks came from Mark Williams (32), Grieg Batty (31) and Andy Whaley (28 not out), as Neyland’s Nick Kooman starred with 2-35.
“We had no idea what would be a good score,” Whaley said.
“Lord’s is far bigger than any venue we’ve played so far, so we thought 160 may be a par score.
“We had no idea it would be one of the highest ever, and it was nice to play a part.”
In reply the Welsh side started steadily after the early loss of Kooman to recover to 64-1.
But tight Dearne bowling from Batty (1-14 from three overs) and Williams (0-11 from two) always meant Neyland were behind the asking rate.
They began to play more aggressively, and lost wickets at regular intervals.
A dogged 39 from Andrew Miller was the highlight, but he was last man out as Neyland were dismissed for 114, handing Dearne a 52-run victory and a place in the final.
There, they played Bridgewater, who overcame 1997 champions Broadstairs in the second semi-final.
Both Dearne and Bridgewater both batted first in their semi-finals, and the toss was always going to be an important factor in the destination of the trophy.
And so it was, as Dearne won it and elected to bat first.
Their innings didn’t get off to a great start, as Joe Cooper was dismissed without scoring.
But Batty (32 not out), wicketkeeper Liam Mitchell (25) and Williams (25) helped Dearne to a respectable 120-5 from their allotted overs.
Free-scoring Dearne were restricted by tight bowling from Chris Skidmore (1-19 from three overs) and Ian Higgins (1-21 from three).
In a similar fashion to Dearne’s innings, Bridgewater lost opener Andy Hallaran without scoring in the first over of their reply, stumped by Mitchell off the bowling of Whaley.
Whaley then got his second wicket of the match, as Josh Vickery was caught by Cooper for 13.
Whaley finished with 2-23 off his three overs, and the Somerset side were left needing 20 runs from the final over of the final.
And despite a valiant effort from Stuart Butt and Skidmore, who finished unbeaten on 32 and 27 respectively, Bridgwater came up five runs short at 115-3 to see Dearne crowned champions.
“We bowled and fielded really well,” Whaley added.
“Greig, at one stage, even bowled a maiden which is basically unheard of in indoor cricket!”
“It was a great performance from the boys, everyone played their part and hopefully we can return next year.”