Shireshead fall at the final hurdle

Tom Jacques struck 65 as Shireshead & Forton were beaten by Warton
Tom Jacques struck 65 as Shireshead & Forton were beaten by Warton

Shireshead & Forton’s grip on the Hackney & Leigh Trophy was finally loosened as they lost to Warton from the last ball of an exciting final at Cartmel.

Having won the trophy for the last three seasons Shireshead were aiming for a fourth consecutive title and began well as Tom Jacques (65) and Phil Bovis (48) added 88 for the second wicket.

Both batsmen mixed steady accumulation with the ability to punish the bad ball and provided a superb platform of 123-1 with eight overs of their allotted 35 still remaining.

However Shireshead’s attempts to make the most of the situation unravelled quickly as a series of middle-order batsmen departed with single figure scores against their name.

Beck bowled intelligently at the death, taking 4-40 which ensured Shireshead were all out for 154, probably 20-25 runs short of where they should have been.

Warton’s reply began poorly as Dave Jack (3- 12) took a wicket in each of his first two overs in reducing them to 10-2 and then, after 10 overs, to 19-2.

Winder (61), however, gave the innings momentum as he targeted the Shireshead slow bowlers to good effect.

When Jack returned to bowl Winder and Phil Oliver dismissed Barnfield (32) the game hung in the balance with 41 required from 36 balls.

Cassidy went cheaply but Ricky Nelson (29) kept Warton in the game alongside Crowther who, crucially, was afforded two chances by the Shireshead fielders in the penultimate over.

The last over was to be bowled by Oliver and began with Warton requiring 11 to tie and thereby win by virtue of losing fewer wickets.

After three singles, Nelson was smartly caught by Danny Wilkinson which left eight required from the last two balls.

Crowther lifted the next ball over long off for six, and although Oliver beat the bat with the final ball, it trickled away for four byes to give Warton victory by three wickets on 156-7.