Yorkshire’s Woodhouse Grange clinched the Davidstow Village Cup trophy for a record fourth time after beating first-time finalists Foxton by 19 runs at Lord’s.
Grange’s imposing total of 256-2 relied on a solid opening stand of 120 between Andrew Bilton (60) and captain Nick Hadfield (64) against some nervy bowling from the newcomers, and an explosive finish from Chris Bilton (65) and Tom Young (40 not out).
Foxton looked capable of an upset during an entertaining fourth-wicket stand of 87 between Cei Sanderson, who had hit three centuries on the way to final, and Jeff Douglas (47).
Grange used their experience to hold on, however, despite a late assault by Akbar Akhtar (29).
“This was special because we have won the Davidstow Village Cup for an unprecedented fourth time,” said Hadfield. “It was a really good game and Foxton played very well. We are delighted and it was just a fantastic weekend.”
Opening up, Andrew Bilton looked a quality player, making his runs from 71 balls, with nine fours.
Hadfield, in his sixth final, provided sturdy support. He had hit a century and three fifties on the way to the final, and this time there were eight fours in his 64, from 87 balls.
The breakthrough came in the 24th over, Bilton caught at long-off off-spinner David Fagan. Hadfield fell to catch by Douglas at backward square-leg.
Woodhouse Grange’s innings seemed to then stall for a time, but the finale was a spectacular, 103 coming off the last 10 overs, Chris Bilton smashing a six and seven fours in his unbeaten 65 (from 57 balls), enough to win him the man of the match award.
In his 40, Young hit two fours and three sixes, off 25 balls.
Foxton’s hopes appeared to rest on the shoulders of Sanderson, but Tom Quinn made an early breakthrough, removing Adam Webster, and he bowled a tight spell from the Pavilion End.
Douglas lived up to his nickname of ‘Big J’ with a brutish knock of 47 from 40 balls, with three sixes, one that sailed on to the visitors’ dressing-room balcony in the pavilion.
Akhtar also had some fun, as did off-spinner Chris Suddaby, who took three wickets, but the Yorkshiremen were not to be denied.
Pulling clear of three-time winners Troon and St Fagans in the competition’s 44th final, this was Woodhouse Grange’s seventh and last day at the Home of Cricket.
Next year the club, from near York, are joining the new North Yorkshire Premier League. But teams from that tier of club cricket are ineligible for the Village Cup. It has been quite a love affair.