Calmore Sports storm into Lord's final with dominant 10-wicket national Voneus Village Cup win
National Voneus Village Cup
Stoke Green CC 117
Calmore Sports C 118
CALMORE Sports Club will play at Lord's after dominating Stoke Green by 10 wickets in the national Voneus Village Cup semi-final at Loperwood Park.
The village cup débutantes are now one win away from being crowned champions after entering the largest knockout cricket competition in the UK for the first time.
Calmore were in control right from the beginning, with Liam Carty (4-21) and Mark Lavelle (4-20) taking four wickets, dismissing Stoke Green for 117 runs inside 36 overs.
The Hampshire champions then chased down the visitors' target without losing a single wicket as openers Will Brewster and Ben Johns hit unbeaten half-centuries to book a Lord's final.
Calmore captain Lavelle won the toss and asked Stoke Green to bat first.
Opening bowler Steve Wright (1-18) caught Hussain (4) leg-before in the first over before Brewster had both Basharat (8) and Odell (16) caught by Lavelle in the space of eight balls to slump to 37-3.
Keith Parmer (9) soon followed after an impressive caught-and-bowled by Lavelle before a 47-run stand between Bacho (23) and Singh (26) eased some of the pressure on the Buckinghamshire champions.
Fortunately for the hosts, when Carty removed Bacho in the 28th over, it triggered a batting collapse in which Stoke Green lost their final six wickets in seven overs to finish on 117.
Stoke Green are 21 points clear at the top of the Thames Valley League and are hot favourite for promotion to the ECB Home Counties Premier pyramid next season, but never got to grips with the traditionally slow, low Loperwood Park bounce.
Lavelle added: "They had never played here before. They kept playing their shots, so we set appropriate fields and let them make their own mistakes – which they did."
The other Calmore wicket-taker was Ben Perry, who removed captain Dhillon for a duck.
With 118 needed to win, Calmore openers Brewster and Johns, knowing the surface, were far more cautious in their approach. They soon reached 24 without losing a wicket, amid a cacophony of constant screeching appeals from the Stoke Green players, before the heavens opened, causing a two-hour delay.
Captain Lavelle said: "We didn't appear to have a chance as the square was swamped, but the lads who look after the ground did a magnificent job in getting it playable, and we're dedicating our victory to them.
"The support we got from neighbouring clubs was superb. Totton & Eling brought in a super sopper [a rolling sponge with removes water from sports grounds], and Paultons came up with a huge bag of sawdust. Wonderful stuff.
"In their position, Stoke Green obviously didn't want to continue with the game, but the sun came out just in the nick of time and helped dry the surface out. Perfect timing."
Stoke Green continued their raucous appeals and, shortly after the 13th over had been hit for 11, lifting the Calmore total to 52, the umpires issued their captain with an official warning.
Openers Johns (54 not out) and Brewster (53 not out) imperiously picked off anything loose to complete the chase and seal a spot at Lord's.