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Calmore Sports Club progress to the Voneus Village Cup quarter-final after upsetting pre-match favourites Goatacre

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Venous Village Cup Round Six

Goatacre CC 133
Calmore Sports 133-8

CALMORE Sports are into the Voneus Village Cup national quarter-finals after upsetting pre-match favourites Goatacre by losing fewer wickets with the scores tied at Loperwood Park.

Captain Mark Lavelle's jubilant Calmore teammates mobbed him after scoring the 133rd run off the final ball, which enabled the New Forest-based side to tie a pulsating and feisty clash with Goatacre to progress into the last eight.

Calmore needed four runs from the final Jack Haines-bowled over of a rain-affected match to overhaul Goatacre's 133 all out.

Calmore Sports celebrate their victory over Goatacre (picture: Richard Isaacs)
Calmore Sports celebrate their victory over Goatacre (picture: Richard Isaacs)

Calmore stood at 132-8 with everything hinging on the left-handed Calmore batsman to scramble a single with one ball remaining. With all Goatacre fielders breathing down his neck, Lavelle managed to find a gap and secure the vital run.

It was a frantic end to an often frenetic last-16 tie, which saw Calmore spring a significant shock. Twice Lord's winners in their heyday, Goatacre currently sit atop the West of England Premier League's First Division, and they had high hopes of walking through the Grace Gates for the final in mid-September.

However, they ran into a Calmore side that fielded superbly to reduce Goatacre to 86-8 before Ewan Kenny emerged at number nine to hit a classy 36 not out and lift the visitors' score to 133, the ninth-wicket stand adding a crucial 42.

Calmore's Shaun Johnson (4-40), Lavelle (3-19), Mike West (2-23) and left-armer Steve Wright (1-10) were exceptional.

Catch of the day was a jaw-dropping one-handed diving effort in the slips from James Manning which earned Wright his wicket.

Although Calmore's Will Brewster went for a fourth-ball duck, the hosts regained the initiative through Matty Taylor and left-hander Ben Johns who, with some profligate new-ball bowling, eased the reply to 92-1 in 27 overs.

And then it rained.

Calmore needed only 42 runs off 13 overs, with nine wickets in hand. Goatacre were on the ropes, but the untimely break allowed them to recharge their batteries.

As so frequently happens, the stoppage led to a wicket – in this case, two. Johns, who was batting well, went for a risky single and was run out by Brad Dawson, leaving the score at 92-2. Four runs later, Johnson drilled a head-high catch to mid-off, and Calmore were 96-3.

The pressure was on, and another rain break exacerbated the situation. Calmore lost further wickets at 99, 104, 109, then two in consecutive balls to make it 120-8 with three overs left. Among the victims was Taylor, who underpinned the innings with a crucial 45 runs.

Goatacre increased the pressure by appealing for anything and everything. Their tactics got them precious little joy from the officials and could have seen them punished with penalty runs for excessive appealing.

Calmore needed eight runs to win off the last two overs, then four off the last. Lavelle's final-ball run earned them the victory by the slenderest of margins to take themselves to within two wins of Lord's.

Calmore will host the winners of Rockhampton or Ynystawe on 18th July.

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