Worlington advance through to quarters
Graham Ford is ‘elated’ but a little disbelieving – Worlington Cricket Club have made it to the quarter-finals of the National Village Cup for the first ever time.
The club will host Sussex Premier Cricket League club Mayfair in the last eight on July 22, after beating Foxton by 35 runs on Sunday.
Worlington (288-7) batsman Jimmy Watson, dubbed the ‘Village Cup King’, scored a crucial 130 runs to keep the home team just out of reach of determined Cambridgeshire side Foxton (253).
Captain Ford said it was ‘a huge feat’ for the club to have achieved their best-ever finish against the 2015 finalists and hopes it bodes well as Worly start to look ahead to the last stage, to be contested at Lord’s Cricket Club.
“It’s such a great feeling,” Ford said. “I’m completely elated to have won – it’s a huge feat for the club to have made the quarter-finals.
“It was the hardest match we’ve played yet in the competition and we know it will keep getting tougher, so our name is far from that trophy yet.
“It’s far from fated, but we are playing well and we’re enjoying it, Lord’s is definitely a target for us, it would be incredible to play there.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have actually made it to the quarter-finals too, I don’t think anyone was really expecting us to do this well.
“That’s as much to do with having the Village Cup King of course.”
It was a match of ebbs and flows on one of the hottest days of 2018, with the home team recovering well from a middling start, courtesy of Watson’s unbeaten knock of 130.
It is the third time the wicketkeeper has surpassed the ton mark in this year’s competition – from five appearances – to warrant the regal title from his team-mates.
Charlie Tunstall (53), Matthew Wittish (28) and captain Graham Ford (19) added crucial extra runs as a team effort saw the side to 288-7 in their 40 allotted overs.
Ford said it was a ‘different’ batting display than the side had become accustomed to, as they had to battle to post a high run total.
“We suddenly found ourselves at 115-5 and in a bit of trouble, they bowled well and we were struggling,” he said.
“We’ve not experienced a game like that in this competition so far, but the way we responded was great.
“Jimmy dealt with the pressure very well and kept calm and kept putting runs on the board. Charlie then worked really well with him to play us back into it a bit.
“I was happy with the total, but we did work for it.”
In reply, Worly’s Wittish and Tunstall set to work quickly and three early wickets left Foxton on 25-3.
But the visitors settled in, with David Fagan (48) and Cel Sanderson (39) building an important partnership to frustrate Worly, as the score continued to tick over.
Tunstall (3-51), Ziaf Kulasi (2-53), Wittish (2-45), Tom Newell (1-21) and Daren Hayward (1-30) worked well together to keep wickets coming, despite a resurgence from the Foxton tailenders.
An injury to Foxton’s Paul Dean (36) caused a late pause to the game and lead to a proxy runner stepping in, which came at the right time for the flagging batsman.
But the final target proved too much as Watson ended the game with a stunning catch to see Worly through to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
Worly, whose Saturday side lead Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship, have played all their fixtures in the Village Cup at home and are scheduled for home ties all the way to the final.