Calmore rattle Rockhampton to clinch semi-final in Voneus Village Cup
Voneus Village Cup National quarter-finals
Calmore Sports C 205-4
Rockhampton CC 165
CALMORE Sports continued their extraordinary run in the Voneus Village Cup with a commanding win over Gloucestershire side Rockhampton.
Only one match against Buckinghamshire's Stoke Green stands between Calmore Sports and a national final at Lord's in September.
Calmore's 205-4, platformed around a century opening partnership between Ben Johns and Will Brewster, proved too much for Rockhampton, who had made it through to the quarter-finals after a bowl-out victory in the sixth round.
A bowl-out is used to decide a match which ends in a tie. Five bowlers from each side deliver one or two balls each at an unguarded wicket, with the highest number of wickets deciding the winners.
Rockhampton looked in a good position in the 20th over of their reply at 91-1, with Will Tyler (37) and Gloucestershire U17s left-hand talent George Driver-Dickerson (33) in command.
The pair had come together after only four balls of the Rockhampton innings when opener Martin Cropper was superbly caught in the covers by Shaun Johnson off left-armer Steve Wright (1-20).
They launched their 91-run partnership after Solent University's Yannick De Mezieres Lepervanche's solitary over had gone for 21.
But a drinks break enabled Calmore to refresh and regroup. Then, in the space of four balls, the game was turned on its head with Tyler run out and Driver-Dickerson trapped leg-before by Liam Carty while playing an over-ambitious reverse sweep.
Rockhampton never recovered, and by the 27th over, they were 107-5, with Carty's off-spin bringing eventual rewards of 3-27 – no mean feat for the 20-year old trainee accountant who has played only twice for Calmore's Southern Premier Division One side.
With James Manning (1-21) bowling tidily at the other end, Calmore applied the squeeze, forcing some of the visiting batsmen into risky across-the-line shots on a low bouncing track, culminating in five LBW dismissals.
Rockhampton were dismissed for 165, leaving Calmore to celebrate a semi-final place during their first-ever Voneus Village Cup season.
Calmore's success was cemented by a no-frills century opening stand between Johns (75) and the watchful Brewster (53). They carefully navigated the slow surface to put a sedate 109 on the board by the 26th over, with the pair hitting 15 boundaries between them.
Johns lost Johnson (17) at 150 and, drained and almost out on his feet after scoring a 50 in the Portsmouth heat the previous day, was run out at 173, four overs from the end. Nevertheless, his 75 proved the match-defining knock.
Matt Taylor (15), followed by some lusty blows from Manning (19 runs off 11 balls) just before tea, took Calmore on to 205-4 – a total few visiting sides reach when batting second at Loperwood Park.
Calmore will have home advantage in the semi-finals on 1st August against Slough-based Thames Valley League's Stoke Green.