Chappell and Hardy star as Bradninch beat holders in T20 qualifier

BRADNINCH are through to Servicemaster Clean T20 county final at Sidmouth later this month after beating Premier sides Sidmouth and Exmouth in the Exeter and East Devon play-offs.

Sidmouth were vanquished by five wickets in the lunchtime semi-final at Kensham Park, setting up an afternoon play-off with Exmouth.

Exmouth reached the final by beating Heathcoat by 26 runs after making 161 for six.

Gary Chappell and Chris Metters – two former Exmouth players – gave Bradninch a dream start by blasting along to 109 for one on 11 overs against Exmouth.

Chappell, who had just hit two sixes, holed out going for another and was on his way back to the hutch for 72 scored off 40 balls.

Metters went in the next over – he made 38 off 32 deliveries – and after that Bradninch went into a decline from 109 for two to 134 for seven.

Tim Piper -18 not out - and Dan Hardy (37) took the Bradninch score to 180 for nine at the close.

Pick of the bowlers were David Lye (3-31) and Callum French (2-24).

Exmouth were always up with the chase and after were 96 for four in the 13th over. Skipper Bob Dawson (23), Lye (48) and Sandy Allen (23) were all among the runs

Then it got interesting as Exmouth slowed to 143 for six with two overs to go.

Buzza, another Exmouth old boys, bowled the penultimate over and took some stick from Husnan Kamzi, who hit him for 28 – two sixes and four fours.

Hardy bowled the final over with 10 needed to win and seven to win off the last ball wasn’t possible so Bradninch won by three runs despite a boundary from Kamzi, who finished unbeaten on 52.

Bradninch breezed into the final with a five-wicket win over Sidmouth.

Sidmouth were without their current Devon contingent – on duty against Herefordshire in the Unicorns Trophy semi-final – but still boasted a team with three ex-county players in it.

Henry Gater top scored for Sidmouth with 44 in a total of 148 for eight, sharing stands of 42 with Anthony Griffiths (24) and 34 with Kyle Brockley (24). Last man out Nick Mansfield made 18.

Pick of the bowlers for Bradninch were man of the match Dan Hardy – three for 18 off three – and Chris Acton with two for 25 off four.

Bradninch got off to a flier with openers Gary Chappell (18) and Chris Metters (22) hoisting 40.

Hardy went in when Metters was bowled by Gater and his stand of 55 with Andy Buzza (27) almost clinched the outcome.

Hardy was 49 not out from 39 balls when Bradninch passed the target midway through the 19th over.

Man of the Day for Bradninch was Chappell for his all-round contributions with bat and ball, five catches and running-out Gater with a throw at a single stump in the win over Sidmouth.

Winning skipper Piper said it was good to get one over on Sidmouth and Exmouth having lost on the chase against both in similar games before.

He added: “The final could have gone either way. It was good to come out on top this time and we're looking forward to the next round.

“Gary Chappell played particularly well with bat and ball, a did Dan Hardy. Chris Acton was our best bowler and bowled perfectly.

“There were contributions from everyone else at some point during the day and it was a really good team performance.”

Already through to finals day at Sidmouth on July 24 are North Devon.

Lewdown will play either Plymouth or Cornwood in the West Devon qualifier next week to determine the final place.

Ipplepen and Torquay play the South Devon qualifier this Friday night