The National T20 competition in the North East suffered worst of all from Covid caution and instead of having the usual 15 participants there were only five. Fortunately for the competition this did include probably the two strongest sides in the region and they fought out the final in a very close finish.
Worksop started well with 40 from the six-over power play, led by Lewis Hogg with 45 from 35 balls, including two sixes, but then the St Peter’s spinners began to claw back the initiative. Even so, Worksop were reasonably placed at 110 for six with five overs to go and 119 for six with 19 balls to go. However, wickets then tumbled and they reached only 126 all out which in this competition is rather under par.
St Peter’s also started reasonably well with 47 for two from the first 10 overs and then later were in a decent position with 36 needed from the last six. Once again it was tight bowling, this time by Worksop, which produced a flurry of wickets and an inevitable slowdown in the scoring rate. 20 were thus needed from the final two overs and then 9 from the last six balls, by no means an impossible task. Defending this, Isaac Parkin took three wickets to end the St Peter’s innings off the final ball – two clean bowled yorkers and one LBW – his total figures being three for 17 from his four-over spell.
A wonderful game of cricket between two good well-matched sides, with the result in doubt until the last ball: a final six would have won it for St Peter’s.
Worksop now face the North West champions: Lancaster RGS defeated Bolton to secure a semi-final place against Sedbergh (regulars at Finals Day over the years) and the winners then face Myerscough Manchester, based at Old Trafford.
Local rivals RGS High Wycombe – alma mater of the 2017 Wisden Schoolboy of the Year Ed Casterton – and John Hampden also played out an exciting and close-fought 45-over match. RGS batted first and lost wickets at regular intervals (Lochine Christopherson taking four for 44) and were finally all out for a slightly disappointing 168. John Hampden in reply were going well at 145 for four but a clatter of wickets soon had them at 152 for eight with 17 still to get and it was only the steadying innings of Will Midwinter with 91 not out that saw them through to win by two wickets in the lovely evening sunshine.
Inevitably very few results because of half-term but now that the dreaded Teacher Assessed Grades are completed, those who love schools cricket hope that it can blossom in the very few weeks left once term resumes next Monday.
Worksop 134-7 (20 overs), Bedford 130 (National U-17)
Bradfield 109 (20 overs), *Eton 111-0
*Shrewsbury 242-7 (45 overs), Saracens 211
*Malvern 213-9 (50 overs), Eton 97
*RGS High Wycombe 168, John Hampden GS 169-8