Southill Park storm to second T20 finals win

Southill Park.
Southill Park.

Southill Park became the first club to win the Viegli County T20 twice with victory at the 2018 Finals on Sunday at Potton and a welcome winners prize of £1,000.

The day started with the first semi-final versus friendly rivals and Bedfordshire County League Champions Lutonian who defeated Southill both home and away in 2018 as they retained their Sunday title.

Skipper George Darlow won the toss and elected to field on a pitch that looked seamer friendly but proved to be misleading as spinners dominated the day.

Lutonian were in early trouble when dangerman Naeem Khan tried to take a quick single but a sharp throw by keeper Matt Taylor to bowler Darlow secured the first dismissal for just four. The impressive glove man Taylor then combined with his brother James Taylor (1-21) to comfortably take a snick behind and did the same again off Darlow (1-12) to leave Lutonian reeling at 13-3.

There was a mini Lutonian recovery but the wily, miserly Mehul Adatia (3-7), in-form Shaylen Tomlinson-Patel (2-18) and all action Lee Hoggett (1-3) stemmed the flow of runs to restrict Lutonian to a below par 104-9.

Park made light work of the chase scoring 105 for the loss of just one wicket. Andy Collins struck an imperious, chanceless 55 runs from just 36 balls including nine 4s in a century partnership with Matt Taylor who intelligently, manipulated the field scoring a run a ball 30.

The squad of George Darlow, Andy Collins, Shaylen Tomlinson-Patel, Matt Taylor, Lee Hoggett, Ben Slater, Mehul Adatia, Jason George, Kieran Brasier, Tom Whitton, Sam Kelly and James Taylor with the ever reliable scorer Ann Pryor were then able to relax and watch underdogs Queens Park Westfield defeat Ampthill Town in the second semi-final.

In the final, Queens Park won the toss and elected to bowl. The impressive Tomlinson-Patel set about the Queens Park attack hitting 51 from 47 balls including six 4s and a 6.

Keeper Taylor (11) maintained the run rate as did Darlow (18) to set a perfect platform for the muscular Hoggett to plunder 48 not out from 25 balls with three massive 6s and three 4s in a great example of power hitting with the experienced Slater (12 not out) in an undefeated partnership of 60 runs in just seven overs enabling Park to close on an impressive 146-4 from 20 overs.

Southill then executed the perfect performance with an outstanding display of bowling and fielding. Keeper Taylor excelled once again with another run out, two stumpings and a catch to claim nine dismissals for the day!

Adatia (4-25) spun his magic as did the crafty George (2-14) and ever reliable seamer Brasier produced the perfect spell of variation seam bowling taking 1-16 from 4 overs.

Man of the match Hoggett took a high catch at mid-wicket and then bowled four overs for just 15 runs. Darlow went for just two runs from 2 overs. All of this together with strong ground fielding throughout the day by Kelly and Whitton restricted Queens Park to 91-8 and a victory margin for Southill of 55 runs.

In the Cambs League the Great Escape continued with a convincing and exciting 57 run win over Blunham on Saturday to make it five consecutive victories.

This means Park need to win their last game of the the season at home to Great Shelford to overhaul Ufford Park and/or Stamford to avoid relegation.