Crowhurst Park Cricket Club is through to the last 16 of the Davidstow Village Cup for the first time.
East Sussex winners Park overcame West Sussex champions Findon by four wickets at the Walcott Ground yesterday (Sunday) to set up another home tie against Buckinghamshire outfit Dinton on Sunday July 6.
Park won the toss and chose to field against a Findon side whose last pair survived the final 17 overs to hold on for a draw in the Sussex Division Two clash between the clubs a fortnight previously.
Excellent tight bowling from Bradley Payne and Ed Smissen restricted Findon early on, and Payne picked up two early wickets to leave Findon 44-2 off 15 overs.
The good bowling continued and runs were hard to come by in the first 20 with Findon on 58-2. Nick Peters and Paul Brookes continued to turn the screw, and when they combined to remove Jack Metters for a well-made 33, Park were in control.
Felix Jordan was then run out for an excellent 39 and Park were taking wickets at regular intervals. It was only in the last five overs that Findon really started to attack with skipper James Iago and James Ballamy scoring 54 runs to take the visitors along to 185-7 and give them the momentum going into Park’s innings. Payne finished with excellent figures 2-27 off nine.
When Brookes fell to Curtis Howell in the fourth over of Park’s reply and was immediately followed by Lawrence Coleman, Park were in early trouble on 15-2.
Brothers Dale and Bradley Payne provided some control to the innings and started to rebuild. Both batted with assurity and increasing confidence, taking the score along to 64 off 17 overs before Dale Payne (15) was caught behind off Graham Manser.
Clive Tong and Bradley Payne gave the innings the necessary aggression. Both played some excellent attacking shots all round the ground and their splendid 69-run partnership put Park in full control of the run chase.
Tong fell for a terrific 38 off 31 balls and with Payne reaching his maiden 50 in the cup, the crowd was sensing victory. Smissen provided an excellent partner for Payne and a quickfire 32 partnership almost saw Park over the line.
Payne departed for a superb 68 in the 37th over to provide some last minute nerves for Park, but Smissen and Matt Peters continued the quick runs, and when Smissen (34 not out off 27) scored the winning runs with eight balls to spare, the celebrations could begin with a Lord’s final now only three games away.