1st XI Retain County Cup For Third Year In A Row
Bede’s 1st XI retained the County Cup at Hove, winning the trophy for the third year in a row, enhancing their reputation as the cricket school in Sussex.
Having dispatched Eastbourne College in the first round, and Christ’s Hospital in the semi-final, the team faced Brighton College in the final.
Bede’s batted first and immediately took the game to the opposition racing to 46-1 off 5 overs. Worrall in particular was at his destructive best hitting 20 from 4 consecutive balls (6,6,4,4)! However, once he was removed, Brighton fought back with some outstanding fielding and Bede’s collapsed to 58-5. Brighton were on the ascendancy and smelled blood! Sheppard and Lenham (S) came together and steadied the ship, knowing that there were plenty of overs left to post a respectable score. They began by keeping the score board ticking over and ensuring that the occasional bad delivery was punished. Sheppard in particular dispatched the ball over the boundary with relish. Together the two put on 70 runs in 9 overs, before Lenham departed for an impressive 29 off 30 balls. Sheppard continued to put the ball to all parts of the Hove ground and took the team to a final score of 159-7. He finished on 61 not out off only 36 balls, and thoroughly deserved the standing ovation as he left the field.
In reply, Brighton got off to a fast start, taking advantage of the power play and racing to 33-1 off only 4 overs. They kept in touch with the required run rate until the 10th over, but eventually Bede’s tight bowling, shrewd captaincy and field placings, and the occasional wicket began to increase the pressure. Lenham (A) and Gordon in particular bowled well in the middle of the innings and the required run rate began to creep up. A fourth wicket partnership of 40 runs kept Brighton in the hunt, but the return of Sarro and Crocombe at the death finished the game. Brighton scored 122-6 off their 20 overs with Crocombe, Lenham (S) and Sarro collecting 2 wickets a piece.
Commenting on the victory, Bede's Director of Cricket Alan Wells said, "It was a battling performance from the boys who had to overcome several periods of intense pressure. However, they have shown that they are a real team, with any one of them being able to step up and play a commanding and match winning role. Today it was Sheppard and Lenham. Our bowlers all season have been magnificent so I was always confident that we had enough runs. However, Brighton gave it a good go but our captain set appropriate fields and changed his bowlers regularly, not allowing the batsmen to settle. This is our 9th title in 12 seasons and shows the strength of cricket at Bede’s."
Bede’s demonstrated again that they are the team to beat in Sussex and further enhanced their reputation as one of the top cricketing schools nationally. Brighton College must be congratulated for their determination, superb fielding and sportsmanship throughout the final and their vocal support added to a wonderful atmosphere.