GOLDEN oldies Shaun Needham and Andy Hele steered Barton to a nine-wicket win over Abbotskerswell 2ndXI in the final of the Aaron Printers Cup.
Abbots’ total of 103 for seven in the full 20 overs at South Devon CC always looked a little on the light side.
And so it turned out with Hele – 51 next birthday – and Shaun Needham (46) taking Barton to victory with more than five overs to spare. It was Barton's first win in the final since 1975, when they defeated Babbacombe.
Hele joined Needham with the score on 30 in the fifth over and they polished off the rest in an unbroken stand of 76.
For most of the chase it was a stroll, until Hele launched Charlie Smout-Cooper for two successive sixes to win the game in a hurry.
For man of the match adjudicator Robert Dickinson, those lusty blows that took Hele to 37 not out where enough to swing the award his way.
On another night it could easily have gone to Barton’s teenaged, South African all-rounder Matt Crampton whose left-arm spin took three Abbots’ wickets for 13 runs. He followed that up with a brisk 20 to lead off the chase.
Said Hele: “You never take anything for granted in this form of cricket as things can change so quickly, but we always felt we had done a good job keeping them under 140.
“You have to avoid losing early wickets, which we did, and we were fortunate to have a couple of big overs early on.
“From then on all we had to do was bat sensibly and accumulate runs.”
Abbotskerswell didn’t always help themselves in the field by dropping catches. Losing Graham Catley with a split nose when he got hit in the face didn’t help.
Another thing that didn’t help was the comedy of errors that led to Abbots’ leading scorer Sam Johnston getting out.
Johnston was going along at run-a-ball rate with skipper Elliot Adams when, who was dropped at third-man having a swing.
The old adage never run a miss-field was forgotten and Adam Parker’s throw reached the stumps well in advance of Johnston.
Barton and Abbotskerswell will do it again on Thursday (July 12) when they meet at Torquay CC to contest the Dick Lear Cup.
The Dick Lear Cup is contested by the winners of the Brockman Cup and the Aaron Printers Cup. Next time Abbots will be putting out their 1stXI, which may make it a different game altogether.
Abbotskerswell 103-7 (S Crompton 38, D Cowdry 11; M Crampton 3-14), Barton 106-1 (M Crampton 20, A K Hele 37no, S D Needham 38no). Barton bt Abbotskerswell by 9 wkts.