A day out at Lord’s, the home of cricket, moved a step closer for PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY after their third straight win in the Davidstow National Village Cup.
Papplewick swept aside Leicestershire outfit Barkby United by 88 runs in the final of their regional qualifying group last Sunday.
Now they tackle either Cropston or Newtown Linford, who also hail from the Leicester area, in the group final, away from home on Sunday 14th June. Their tie, also scheduled for last Sunday, was postponed until this weekend because of heavy rain.
If Jim Rhodes’s side win that regional final too, they will progress to the knockout stages of the prestigious, long-standing tournament, which climaxes with a grand final at Lord’s in September.
They will be alongside all the winners of the other 31 regional qualifying groups, and would be likely to meet the winners of the Worcestershire group in the first of four rounds that lead to the final.
This is Papplewick’s first season in the competition, but they dispatched Barkby in a similar manner to Clipstone Welfare and Newbold Verdon in earlier rounds this spring.
After heavy overnight rain, groundstaff did well to get the Papplewick Hall ground fit for play. And with conditions far from perfect for batting, Barkby put the locals in after winning the toss.
However, Papplewick went about their business sensibly and confidently, with every one of their batsmen contributing to a healthy total of 225-7 from their allotted 40 overs.
Alex Lloyd maintained his rich vein of form with 20 (four fours), and fellow opener Adam Rostance stroked five boundaries in a nice knock of 30.
The best contribution was supplied by Tom Simpson, however, at number three. Promoted and handed important responsibility after a string of good efforts for the club’s second eleven, Simpson hit 55 (six fours) from 71 balls.
He shared profitable stands of 39 with wicketkeeper Tom Bowers (14) and 51 with Gareth Blinkhorn, who struck four fours in his 29.
Simpson eventually fell with the board reading 151, caught by opposing skipper Steve Flowers off the bowling of Ian Cooper (2-49 in nine overs). And Blinkhorn departed 16 runs later, stumped by Ryan Waplington when teased by Flowers (2-39 in nine).
However, the dismissals failed to stop Papplewick in their tracks, and further blows from Michael South (22, three fours), captain Rhodes (20) and youngster Charlie Blatherwick (14 not out) kept the run rate at just under six an over.
Barkby’s reply got off to a flier in the hands of Flowers, who thumped 26 (five fours) off 24 balls, and Ben Hollis (15, three fours). They put on 45 for the first wicket and the momentum was maintained by Waplington, who fired 40 (five fours).
However, the Leicestershire team’s batting line-up lacked strength in depth and from a promising 92 for two, they quickly succumbed.
Teeenage spinner Reuben Singh (1-36 in six overs) bagged the key scalp of Flowers, caught and bowled, and the introduction to the attack of Blatherwick and Alex Hudson triggered Barkby’s main collapse.
In polished nine-over spells, Blatherwick took 2-22 and Hudson 3-26 to soften up the visitors in time for the return of new-ball bowler Rhodes, who dislodged dangerman Waplington and cleaned up the tail with 4-28 from 7.5 overs.
Barkby’s last eight wickets tumbled for only 45 runs with Rhodes bowling last man Amit Barchha in the 36th over with the score on 137.