A bowling masterclass from Joel Duckett on the Grainville wicket, taking out five victims for just 24 runs set the scene but, while OVs openers Elliott Corbel and Andy Dewhurst made short work of the 150 required to win the match, they may never have thought it was enough to take the title.
Over at Farmers, Nick Ferraby (117) and Zak Tribe (75) were smashing St Ouen-Springfield to pieces helping their team rack up 332 runs in the opening stanza. It seemed the title was heading to St Martins where the T20 version was won two months ago but Farmers contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, their own wicket that favoured their batsmen, proving less than fruitful for their bowlers. Led by Ollie Nightingale (83) and ably supported at times by his captain Dom Blampied, SOS were stubborn in their resistance to an increasingly frustrated Farmers attack. Of course, Farmers still won the game handsomely. But by not taking out every SOS man as OVs had, all-but-one, done to Walkovers, Farmers missed out on some valuable bonus points.
It was an excellent end to, what was in the end, an excellent season of competitive cricket and it paid to shuttle between the two matches to keep abreast of the action and the scores, without relying solely on social media.
It was also heaven sent that the finale should be played out in the last strains of sunshine for the summer, when rain was forecast and was expected to be a major protagonist in the final say of whose hands would hold the trophy. OVs set out to do all they can to put the pressure on Farmers from the off but even then not even their ardent captain Luke Gallichan could have expected his team would be the victorious ones in the end, their game concluding nearly two hours before Farmers flummoxed to the finish line. In many ways, OVs ought not to have even been given the chance if it wasn’t for Matt Donaldson’s cavalier heroics in the final over at Farmers a fortnight before, when he smashed two sixes to guide his team to an unlikely draw.
For Farmers and their captain James Perchard, they will only rue the missed chances to have put this all to bed a long time ago. In stark contrast, OVs demonstrated a determination to never give up until the end. And in the end, they got what they deserved.
‘The boys came out fantastic but Walkovers were on top in the first ten overs,’ said OVs captain Luke Gallichan. ‘Nat Watkins came out and smashed us around. We didn’t bowl our line and lengths and we brought on the spinners. Joel Duckett took five wickets, with some fantastic bowling. It was a spinners wicket. Sam Dewhurst and Jonty Jenner kept it together and kept them to a low score of 150. We were pretty happy with that at the half-way stage. Elliot Corbel and Andy Dewhurst came out and got round about a hundred partnership. Fantastic. It blew it away for us and made it easy for me to knock off 20 runs at the end.
‘It’s the best cricket that a lot of us have played in a couple of years and the best standard of cricket definitely. It’s been really good to get out there and play a whole T20 season and get a 40-over competition in so thanks to JCB, it’s been a really good season for the boys,’ continued Gallichan.
‘The boys have trained hard from start to finish. At the start of the season we’ve had 40 people turn up to training which was phenomenal. It’s made selection a bit of a problem for me but that’s fantastic because we’ve brought in a culture where if you want to be in the team you’ve got to fight for your place and I think that’s really boosted team morale.’