Apperley CC U15’s T20 Vitality U15s National Cup FINAL
Apperley CC U15’s contested the regional final of the T20 Vitality U15s National Cup against Newport CC on Sunday. With the bad weather in the county on the Saturday, the game was in doubt but once again a mixture of great work by the ground staff and luck with the weather, the game went ahead on a fantastic wicket.
Captain Sophie Rayer lost the toss (again!!) and the home side were put in to bat.
Lily Rutt and Bella Herring opened the batting and got off to good start, with Bella scoring freely. The two opening bowlers Miriam Sahabdeen and Sophie Williams, who are both Western Storm Academy players bowled impressively. Miriam Sahabdeen bowled Lily with the score at 41/1. Megan Ahearne then came in at three and she and Bella pushed the score on quickly. Bella played some text book cover drives whilst Megan was very strong off her legs. Bella brought up her 50 with a nice straight drive. The impressive left hand swing bowler Jess Stentiford was bowling from the Church End and was getting very good movement causing the Apperley batters some trouble. Megan was then caught at point after chasing a rare loose wide ball with the score at 110/2. That brought the young but talented Lucy Bull to the crease. Shortly after, Bella was very well caught at point by Carys Evans after trying to move the scoreboard on quickly. Bella batted very stylishly and scored 63 off 54 balls. Both Seren Radcliffe and Sophie Rayer were dismissed quickly with the home team trying to push for quick runs with wickets in hand. That brought the flamboyant Millie Downey to the crease. Millie and Lucy batted and ran very well with an aggressive display of hitting in the final few overs. Apperley finished on 162/5 after their 20 overs. This set Newport a run rate of just over 8 an over.
Miriam Sahabdeen and Sophie Williams also opened the batting for Newport. Megan Ahearne and Sophie Rayer then opened the bowling for Apperley. It was a very good contest, the batters were taking advantage of on any loose ball that was bowled. It was far and above the best batting Apperley bowlers have come up against, not only in this competition but also in the league. Neither player was giving any chances but they were also not dominating the Apperley bowlers who were holding their own. The fielding was also very good from Apperley with both Rosie Reynolds and Lily Rutt stopping boundaries and saving valuable runs. Wicket keeper Amelie Matthews was very good on the day and conceded only 6 byes to some very quick bowling. Sophie and Miriam took Newport to 124 before some unbelievable fielding from Lucy Bull got the run out of Sophie Williams for an impressive 48 which was the first turning point in the game. With 5 overs to go, the run rate was now at around 13 and Miriam and Carys Evans were trying to push on. The ever so consistent Seren Radcliffe then started her second spell and bowled Miriam in the 17th over for a classy 67, Seren lead a huge celebration from the Apperley players. This was a crucial swing in the game but it was not won yet. A rare bit of panic from Apperley caused some sloppy fielding and they conceded 6 from one ball including 4 overthrows. Jess Law and Carys then had to score 14 off the last over, they made a good attempt but finished 6 short.
It was a great game of cricket that was watched by over 150 people from both sides. Apperley Chairman Anthony Wilkes presented trophies to both the runners up, Newport CC, and newly crowned South West Champions, Apperley CC.
Apperley will now play either Hartlepool CC or Porthill Park CC in the National Semi-Final at Neston CC in Cheshire (time TBC). The winner of that game will play the winners of the London and South East sections at Lord’s on September 2nd.