Okehampton v Belstone
Last-ball six wins local derby for Belstone
Belstone made the short journey to Simmons Park to take on Okehampton in their final Buckley Cup T20 evening game, a match which turned out to be the closest game of the season – a fine performance by Okehampton considering they had to persuade four passing youngsters to make up their eleven at the last minute. Arden Frew-Smith’s first over for the visitors was a lengthy affair with nine wides but he did trap Jack Rutley leg before for a duck. Three more quick wickets followed with the ever-involved Alex Jopling hitting the stumps for his fourth run out of the season and taking the first of three catches to extend his season’s tally to 14. From this low point of 15 for four Okehampton recovered with a sparkling partnership of 60 between Rob Sandercock and Corey Holliday before both retired on 25 as the Buckley rules dictate. The home side then collapsed again from 84 for four to 91 for eight with Jopling doing most of the damage, taking three for nine from his three overs. Sandercock (32 not out) and Holliday then returned to add a few more runs before Holliday was last man out for 29, leaving five overs wastefully unused.
Belstone openers Pete Randerson and Jack Hatton raced towards the target of 105 with Randerson flicking two consecutive sixes over midwicket before retiring on 25 in the fifth over. Hatton was well caught on the same boundary by Sandercock for 16 by which time Belstone were half way to the win after only six overs. But then the runs dried up and middle order wickets fell with Sandercock picking up three for 12 and Luke Mortimore two for 16, from four accurate overs apiece. Frew-Smith (18) was the only other batsman to reach double figures, striking three boundaries to keep the visitors in the hunt, but he and two others were all run out as the tension rose and the light faded. It all boiled down to a final over bowled by Aaron Dearing with four runs needed. Last men Callum Mallett and Phil Dennis pushed a quick single but Mallett was run out trying a repeat, which enabled Randerson to return with three balls remaining. He declined possible singles off balls four and five, then calmly deposited the final ball over the long-on boundary for six, securing the Buckley Cup for Belstone with their tenth win out of eleven in the competition.