Where once there were 286 teams, now there are 16. The Persimmon Village Cup is heading to its latter stages after the first national round took place last weekend. Here’s a round-up of the action.
There were tight finishes across the board in the South East with only a boundary separating teams in three of the four games.
Rottingdean continued on their tricky path to reach Lord’s. Having already dumped out two former Village Cup winners, they beat Hertfordshire’s Reed by two runs in Sussex. Cruising at 111-3 in the 27th over, Reed collapsed to 151 all out.
In Cambridgeshire, Foxton suffered an equally agonising defeat to Rowledge. In reply to Rowledge’s 210-8, Foxton looked well set at 164-4 before the lower order fell away – all out for 206 off the last ball of the match.
Four runs were again the difference for Rowledge’s next opponents, Mistley. The Suffolk side set 194-6 for Great Brickhill to chase. The dismissal of Arris brothers Arran (45) and Doug (56) was the turning point as Great Brickhill fell short on 190-9.
The region’s final game was routine in comparison, with Bidborough beating Hambledon by six wickets. They play Rottingdean at home in the next round.
Mistley (194-6); Great Brickhill (190-9)
Foxton (206); Rowledge (210-8)
Bidborough (132-4); Hambledon (131)
Rottingdean (153-8); Reed (151)
Goatacre’s involvement in the national rounds was brief. They were skittled out for just 26 in 16 overs and 55 minutes by Shipton-under-Wychwood.
A minor consolation for the Wiltshire side is this wasn’t the year’s lowest total – that honour sits proudly with Scotland’s Torrance Community, who scored 16 in their regional semi-final against Freuchie.
And Shipton hardly cruised to victory – they lost four wickets in their chase. Simon Hole was the only batsman on either side to make double-figures.
It was a comparatively high-scoring affair in Devon; where Lewdown lost to Dumbleton, who now go on to play 2001 champions Ynystawe from Wales in the next round.
Ynystawe beat Roche of Cornwall by five wickets, chasing down their target of 163 with minimal fuss. It marked a good weekend for Wales as Carew also progressed to the next round.
Facing Timsbury in Somerset, Carew restricted them to 142-8. They got home in the 34th over, booking their spot in the next round where they’ll play last year’s beaten finalists, Shipton.
Timsbury (142-8); Carew (146-6)
Goatacre (26); Shipton-under-Wychwood (27-4)
Lewdown (87); Dumbleton (88-5)
Roche (163); Ynystawe (164-5)
Colwall sneaked past quarter-finalists from last year, Quatt, in a tight finish in Herefordshire.
Quatt made 210-6 from their 40 overs. Still needing 80 from the last 10 overs, 18-year-old Ben Wheeler smashed four sixes and three fours in a dashing 42 that shifted the momentum in Colwall’s favour. They secured a two-wicket win with two balls remaining in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
Michael Atherton’s local village club, Woodhouses, beat Tattenhall by 79 runs in Cheshire and will face Stainsby Hall after the Derbyshire side disposed of Barby.
Elsewhere, Shipston-on-Stour beat South Kelsey by 74 runs in Warwickshire.
Stainsby Hall (193-1); Barby (192-6)
Colwall (211-8); Quatt (210-6)
South Kelsey (174); Shipston-on-Stour (248-8)
Tattenhall (162); Woodhouses (241-5)
Local rivalry in the North. Sessay edged past Woodhouse Grange in a repeat of their quarter-final last year when Sessay went on to win at Lord’s. And a crowd of 200 saw Houghton Main beat Warley.
They travel to Freuchie in the next round after the Scottish side beat Bates Cottages in Durham.
Finally, Shireshead & Forton triumphed over Bomarsund Welfare in Northumberland. They now have the unenviable task of trying to stop holders Sessay in the next round.
Bates Cottages (196-8); Freuchie (199-5)
Houghton Main (237-6); Warley (157)
Bomarsund Welfare (167-9); Shireshead & Forton (248-6)
Sessay (173-6); Woodhouse Grange (172-9)
To see the draw for the National rounds, please click here.
David Currie is the publishing assistant of The Cricketer