Halton/High Wycombe Cricket Club Wins RAF Cup
A long and, sometimes, rain-affected cricket season ended at Vine Lane recently when the Halton/High Wycombe CC defeated Lossiemouth in the Cup Final. Lossiemouth won the toss and sent Hal/HW into bat on what was classed as a variable and windy day.
Openers John Riddell and Stu Bradford enjoyed an opening stand of 41 runs; Stu Bradford was trapped LBW for 23. As they say in cricket, one brings two; the next 2 batters Si Firth and Si Taylor went quite cheaply to some great bowling and fielding from Lossiemouth. This brought Paul Knowler to the crease who, it seemed, decided that he wanted to carry on from where he left off against Cosford in the semi-final 2 weeks earlier, scoring 24 from 28 balls with 5 boundaries. A great piece of fielding saw Paul just short of his ground and back in the pavilion. James Heald then came to the crease and managed to stop his unfortunate run of ducks by getting off the mark, but was bowled by a great delivery and was soon back in the pavilion. With the game starting to list towards Lossiemouth, a good stand was needed to steady the ship; that came in the form of Matt Tope, who put together a stand of 73 with the ever stoic John Riddell, who was grinding the bowling down and steadily working his way to 56, before being well caught in the outfield. Matt was then joined by Si Dawes who was making his debut, but Matt was caught just short of his ground and was soon back in the pavilion. With just a couple of overs left in the 45, Rory Slater joined Si at the crease to try and push the total to 200, falling just short on 8 wickets for 189 runs.
Lossiemouth came out after the tea break, with some dark and heavy clouds heading for Vine Lane. It was a great start to the innings with a wicket in the first over, with Paul Knowler rattling the wickets of the Lossiemouth opener. This brought out a very aggressive batter, obviously set to raise the run rate. With rain clouds looming and a short performance bringing on 17 runs from just 14 balls, Lossiemouth got the start they needed, with the run rate cruising along at over 6 per over (4.2 was the required run rate). Lossiemouth’s half century scorer came to the crease and steadied the innings that had 2 quick wickets gone by the end of the 3rd over. However, Hal/HW quickly regained composure in the field and stemmed the flow of runs, steadily decreasing the run rate to around 4 per over. Rain came in the 17th over, delaying play for about 30 mins and reducing the target reduced to 160 runs from 38 overs. A very close and tense contest ensued with some great batting and fielding from both sides. The highlight of the fielding was a screamer of a catch in the outfield by Paul Knowler raising the heads of the Hal/HW side and lifting the tempo and urgency in the field. The match was still anybody’s to win. With rain imminent, the pressure was on Lossiemouth to push the scoring rate above that required in the case of rain. Hal/HW managed to take the last few wickets required before the rain set in and victory was with the southerners.