Papplewick and Linby dreaming of Lord’s after flying start in national competition

DREAMING OF A TRIP TO LORD'S -- Papplewick and Linby Cricket Club.
DREAMING OF A TRIP TO LORD'S -- Papplewick and Linby Cricket Club.

One of the leading cricket clubs in the Dispatch district are dreaming of a trip to Lord’s after making a major impact in a national tournament.

Ambitious Papplewick and Linby have entered the Davidstow Village Cup, which is backed by ‘The Cricketer’ magazine, for the first time. And they are already through to the regional semi-finals.

Almost 300 village clubs from across the country are tackling the annual 40-over tournament, which dates back to 1972, and they are split into 32 regional groups.

The winners of each group progress to a knockout stage, which leads to the final at Lord’s, the London home of cricket, in September. Papplewick have tried their hand at the ECB National Club Championship before, enjoying limited success. And it’s indicative of the club’s confident recovery, after suffering relegation from the Notts Premier League two years ago, that they are willing to take on the rest of the country again.

Placed in the Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire group, they began with a four-wicket victory over Bassetlaw League rivals Clipstone Welfare. And a crushing 108-run success over Leicestershire outfit Newbold Verdon last Sunday booked their ticket to the regional semi, which will be against another team from Leicestershire, Barkby United, at Papplewick Hall this coming Sunday (31st May, 1 pm start). The regional final is on Sunday 14th June.

Competition rules mean that star new signings Justin Brathwaite and Shaharyar Aslam are not yet eligible to play. But they weren’t required against Newbold Verdon, who were rushed out for just 107 in reply to Papplewick’s 215.

The wickets were shared by a varied and predominantly youthful bowling attack, with Charlie Blatherwick taking 3-27 in 8.2 overs, Alex Hudson 2-3 in three, Michael South 2-7 in five and Jonathan Thrower 2-16 in seven.

The only visiting batsmen to pose any threat were Ryan Bird, who thumped 49 (nine fours), and Gareth Bell, who made 29 in a fifth-wicket partnership of 46.

Earlier Papplewick quickly lost Alex Lloyd and Tom Simpson after being put into bat. But a formidable recovery was led by Tom Bowers, who continued his profitable start to the season by firing 83 (one six and ten fours) off 88 balls.

Bowers bossed a third-wicket stand worth 149 with opener Adam Rostance (52, one six and four fours) before both fell to Newbold’s most effective bowler, Matt Hand (3-44 in nine overs).

Disappointingly, Papplewick did lose their last eight wickets for only 61 runs, but at least they topped 200, courtesy of 23 not out from Blatherwick, 14 from Thrower and 30 extras.

The hero of the Clipstone win had been opener Lloyd, who stroked a majestic 104, including two sixes and nine fours, off 110 balls as the home side totalled 209-6.

Simpson added 27, Gareth Blinkhorn 20 not out and Bowers 19 before a return of 4-24 from 6.5 overs by captain Jim Rhodes helped to dismiss Clipstone for 156.

Hudson (2-20) and young spinner Reuben Singh (2-26 in nine overs), who removed dangerman Jason Gorman (47), also picked up a couple of wickets apiece to mask the worrying concession of 42 wides.