Gallery: Buntingford seal bragging rights after victory in the Keatley Cup
Buntingford (109-6) beat Royston (99-7) by 10 runs. IT IS Buntingford who will have the bragging rights over their local rivals for the next calendar year after they beat Royston Cricket Club to claim the 2009 Keatley Cup at Therfield on Tuesday evening.
Buntingford (109-6) beat Royston (99-7) by 10 runs.
IT IS Buntingford who will have the bragging rights over their local rivals for the next calendar year after they beat Royston Cricket Club to claim the 2009 Keatley Cup at Therfield on Tuesday evening.
The two teams took to the field just hours after some stormy weather may have put doubts into whether the match would take place, but the ground was deemed good enough for this year's cup final to take place albeit with a slow outfield which may have restricted the run flow.
Royston had reached the final by beating Elmdon and then Aspenden, Standon and Puckeridge, and bowling first they displayed disciplined fielding and some excellent bowling to limit the visitors to their home ground to just 109-6 in their 16 overs.
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But it wasn't to be as the Crows fell just 10 runs short on a tricky wicket in fading light.
A superb spell from Chris Hootton (4-0-10-1) and three wickets from Richard Temple (4-0-21-3) restricted Buntingford in the early stages on the rain-laded pitch and things looked to be going Royston's way, however Chris Chambers carried the fight for Buntingford as he amassed 53 runs not out.
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Royston fielded well and were happy to restrict their opponents to a score just over 100, and in addition to their bowling attack pulled off three solid catches.
In reply Buntingford, who had reached the final after putting The Mordens and reigning champions Reed to the sword, maintained a very straight line and Matt Graham (21) and Martin Leary (15) struggled to make any inroads into the bowling attack early on.
Royston's Ashley Judge did his best to drag the Crows towards victory by smashing 22 but the difference between the two teams was in the final few overs where Royston failed to step up the run rate as Buntingford had been able to do so in their innings.
In addition to his half century with the bat, Buntingford's Chris Chambers secured the man-of-the-match award with three wickets with the ball as Royston stuttered in the last two overs to 99-7.
The victory was a hard-fought but deserved one for Buntingford, who will look to defend their title again next year.