Five villages. Five games. Five men and their dogs. It’s the preliminary round of the 2011 Persimmon Village Cup, which got underway on Sunday.
The tie of the round was Cropston’s one-run win over Earlswood in the Warwickshire & Leicestershire group. Cropston made a competitive 202-8, with 14-year-old Alex Kent top-scoring with 69 and aided by Dan Hickinbottom (48*). Earlswood needed five runs from the last six balls but a tense final over bowled by Ian Allen (dot, dot, one, wicket, dot, two) sealed Cropston’s first win over Earlswood in their last three meetings.
Cropston 202-8 in 40 ov (A Kent 69, D Hickinbottom 48*; D Smith 3-50); Earlswood 201-4 in 40 ov (M Rice 64, W Windeatt 58; I Allen 1-42)
Village Cup first-timers Norton Lindsey & Wolverton overcame Woodhouse Eaves in a high-scoring match. An aggregate of 484 runs in 78.1 overs masks the real star of the show: Richard Pozzi took 7 for 29, including a hat-trick as Woodhouse Eaves were bowled out for 227, 31 runs short of their target. For Norton Lindsey & Wolverton, a trip to Wolvey awaits in the next round.
Norton Lindsey & Wolverton 257-8 in 40 ov (D McInnes 58, T Walter 51; A Frith 2-42); Woodhouse Eaves 227 in 38.1 ov (N Collins 90; R Pozzi 7-29)
To Billesdon v Bidford on Avon in hilly east Leicestershire pictured, where the home side scored 175-7 from their 40 overs before ripping through Bidford’s lower order. After a strong start, the away side collapsed to 120 all out. Billesdon will play Cropston in a fortnight’s time.
Billesdon 175-7 in 40 ov (B Farnsworth 31; S Rouse 2-31, B Cooper 2-34); Bidford on Avon 120 in 32.5 ov (T Gretton 36; P Stimson 4-15, R Welch 2-22)
In Oxfordshire home advantage didn’t count for much as Challow & Childrey (167-8) beat Cumnor (153) by 14 runs and Great & Little Tew chased Kidmore End’s 133 with five wickets to spare. The two winners meet in the next round.
Challow & Childrey 167-8 in 40 ov (I Demain 49; C Thompson 3-33); Cumnor 153 in 37.4 ov (I Douglas 42; D Slade 4-44, OL Dimbylow 3-21)
Kidmore End 133 in 40 ov (B Sinclair 42; M Taylor 4-25); Great & Little Tew 134-5 in 31 ov (C Slatter 35, M Taylor 32*; J Frost 3-46)
Selected 1st Round matches (Sunday, May 1)
Leicestershire & Warwickshire Group
Wolvey v Norton Lindsey & Wolverton
Cropston v Billesdon
Challow & Childrey v Great & Little Tew
David Currie is the publishing assistant of The Wisden Cricketer