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Unstoppable Calmore Sports one match off Voneus Village Cup final at Lord's

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Venous Village Cup quarter-final
Calmore Sports CC 115-5
Goatacre CC 112

CALMORE Sports are one win away from a second consecutive Lord's appearance in the Voneus Village Cup final after defeating Goatacre by five wickets.

After knocking out WEPL opponents Goatacre for the second year running and dismissing the Wiltshire visitors for 112, Calmore will host Cambridge & Huntingdonshire Premier League club Foxton Granta in the semi-final at Loperwood Park on 31st July.

It was Calmore's 15th successive victory in the cup, which they won at Lord's last September, beating Cheshire side Alvanley, themselves knocked out at the weekend's quarter-final stage.

Calmore Sports captain Mark Lavelle (photo: Les Chase)
Calmore Sports captain Mark Lavelle (photo: Les Chase)

Goatacre, second in the WEPL Gloucestershire/Wiltshire Division, fielded eight of the side which had blasted 362-8 against league rivals Marshfield the previous day.

But there was to be no repeat of that run spree at leafy Loperwood Park, although Goatacre went hard at it, with opener Jack Haines hitting Steve Wright (2-20) for a six and then being bowled off the final ball of the left-armer's opening over.

"Steve and Josh Metcalfe (1-19) bowled really well with the new ball, after which we bowled in a disciplined manner, set tight fields and applied the squeeze which we are so good at," reflected Calmore skipper Mark Lavelle.

"To underline how well we bowled, we didn't concede a single extra – not even a leg bye – in their 37 overs. That's phenomenal and went a long way to us winning the game."

With Lavelle (3-16) himself and Ben Perry (2-28) equally effective, Goatacre struggled to 86-8 but managed to squeeze out another 28 runs at the tail-end of the innings to at least give their bowlers a chance of defending a modest 112.

If they were to have any success, Goatacre needed to keep it tight, which they failed to do. Calmore took 10 runs off Conor Taylor's opening eight-ball over, which contained two wides.

By the end, the extras tally had risen to 27 – the top scorer in the Calmore innings – with 21 wides and six byes.

Goatacre's three spinners exploited some lift and turn off the surface, but Ben Johns, the unbeaten half-century hero of Calmore's early 2021 autumn triumph at Lord's, was unflappable.

Watching every ball closely, the left-hander hit 26 to ease the Hampshire side's reply to 77-4 when he was caught off David Miles (2-30). Goatacre sniffed a chance, but it was too little too late.

A handful of unorthodox shots by Max Bailey (16) and a huge six over mid-wicket by James Manning (21 not out) ended the contest to book Calmore a semi-final place against Foxton Granta with six overs to spare.

When Foxton comes to leafy Loperwood, it will be the seventh time Calmore has enjoyed home advantage in eight matches.

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