Foxton edged out in 2015 National Village Cup final by Woodhouse Grange at Lord’s

Foxton CC celebrate after reaching Village Cup final

Foxton CC celebrate after reaching Village Cup final - Credit: Archant

Foxton CC cruelly fell at the final hurdle in the 2015 National Village Cup, losing by 19 runs to three-time winners Woodhouse Grange at Lord’s.

The Yorkshire side won the toss and chose to bat first, a wise decision as they powered their way to 256-2 off their allotted 40 overs. Dave Fagan and Gareth Roots both weighed in with a wicket apiece.

After a brief lunch interval, play resumed with Foxton chasing down the sizeable, but achievable, target.

Cei Sanderson, fresh from scoring a century in league action against Histon 24 hours earlier, looked in good form early on but his partners were falling by the wayside frequently.

Jeffery Douglas did show some resistance, including a giant six into the world-famous pavilion, alongside Sanderson before he was caught, after another wild swing, for 47.

Shortly after, the Foxton opener suffered a groin injury which limited his movement. He struggled on with Henry Hunter for company as his runner but, following two quickfire sixes, he was removed by Chris Suddaby with his side at 180-5 to hand the initiative back to their opponents.

With the required run rate totting up for the Foxes, they soldiered on but three further wickets fell and their dreams of lifting the trophy at the home of cricket were dashed.

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Foxton had batted first in every round on their way to the final but this time around they were left to toil in the field first.

Woodhouse’s opening pair of Andrew Bilton and Nick Hadfield made a slow and steady start over the first three overs, with the opening boundary coming in the third over from Hadfield who steered his shot to where third slip would have been.

Woodhouse soon brought their 50 up from 74 balls without loss but the next 50 runs came from just 43 deliveries as Bilton tucked into the Foxton attack to bring up his half-century.

He was soon caught by Douglas at long on from the bowling of Fagan, leaving Hadfield to move on to his 50 supported by Chris Bilton.

Hadfield lost his wicket soon afterwards thanks to an outstanding diving catch from Douglas off Roots, but then Woodhouse began to accelerate their scoring with eight wickets in hand.

Roots’ final over went for 16 as Bilton (65no) and Young (40no) steered their side to 256-2.

Fagan took 1-39, Roots 1-59 and Douglas 0-48 for Foxton.

The reply began brightly with Sanderson, scorer of three successive centuries en route to Lord’s, struck three boundaries in the opening five overs.

Their bright beginning was derailed though as Tom Quinn caught Adam Webster (2), also a scorer of a century against Histon, plum LBW in the eighth over.

At a pivotal time where a lapse in concentration could further jeopardise Foxton’s hopes, Hunter came in and seemed to have steadied the ship.

That was until he caught a Quinn delivery that hurtled towards the Grandstand boundary, only to be juggled into his hands by Mike Hattee. Foxton were teetering on the brink.

Their situation was to become more perilous as Hunter’s replacement Fagan was toppled for the addition of just one run.

As has been the case in this year’s competition, Sanderson was to be a calming influence, and his grit was frustrating the Woodhouse bowlers, as he doggedly remained at the crease.

At the 20-over mark, the Foxes had clambered to 70-3, with Douglas slamming a four to end the first half of their innings.

Knowing the run rate was not on target, Sanderson and Douglas upped the ante, adding 25 runs to the total in the following three overs. This was despite Josh Jackson’s strong-arm bowling delivering two maiden overs.

The affectionately known “Big J” was soon showing off his arsenal of shots and giving Foxton a fighting chance of triumph.

Several boundaries, including three sixes, re-ignited the Foxton fans’ enthusiasm. However, just three runs short of his half-century he was caught cheaply by Hattee off Jackson.

Sanderson was then in the wars bringing out Hunter as his runner.

A couple of stellar sixes brought him up to 74 before he was removed by Suddaby.

Akbar Akhter entered the fray, alongside Roots, and it was the former who was dismissed soon after, again by Suddaby.

Next to go was James Coe and that was that.

A cameo from club legend Paul Dean, who had cut his holiday short to take part in the final, handed their faithful some comfort at the death but their challenge ended on 237-8.