Cuckfield Cavaliers lost to Hellingly Hurricanes in the Sussex final of the ECB U19 T20, having earlier beaten Steyning in their semi-final.
The Cavaliers travelled to Horntye Park for the U19 T20 Finals day. In the first semi-final, Steyning won the toss and elected to bat first.
Gus Simon and Oli Collins set up the innings with an opening stand of 66 before Simon was bowled by Sam Candfield in the 11th over. Collins pressed on and reached 40 but was stumped going for one big hit too many off Tom Morrissey. Bart Poyser (30*) and Sam Barnett (21) helped Steyning to 148 for 5 as Lottie Palmer-Brown took 3 wickets to finish with 3/19.
In the Cavaliers’ reply George Galbraith-Gibbons and Ben John opened up and played their stereotypical roles, G-G playing more watchfully and John going ballistic. The pair put on 56 before John was bowled by Jake Martin in the fifth over for 35 having hit 5 fours off one over. G-G continued as innings anchor, retiring on 50* with the score 129 for 6 as Martin took 3 more wickets in the middle order.
Needing 20 runs from 5 overs, Chris Barnett and Sam Sutterlin bowled tightly, drying up the runs and leaving the Cavaliers needing 9 off the last over. A single off the first ball for Tom Black saw Candfield (13*) on strike, a six, only just clearing the man on the boundary, a wide and a single later, the Cavaliers had booked their place in the final with just 3 balls to spare.
With Stirlands not able to field a side in the second semi-final, Hellingly got a bye to the final. Wining the toss, Hellingly captain Harry Gape asked Cuckfield to bat first.
Having been the hero of the first game, George Galbraith-Gibbons fell in the first over, caught behind off Adam Pye. Tom Morrissey joined Ben John and put on a partnership of 35 taking the score to 43 before John was dismissed for 24, also by Pye. Pye quickly picked up a third wicket bringing Charlie Best to the crease and he and Morrissey added 42 taking the score to 88 before Best (15) was bowled by Giles Hook. Another quick wicket and the Cavaliers were 88 for 5 in the 12th over. This brought Dan Turner to the crease and he quickly raced to 37, including smashing 4 sixes off one over. Meanwhile Morrissey passed 50 at a run-a-ball and retired in the 17th over.
Wickets fell quickly, including Turner for 47 from 29 balls, as the Cavaliers were dismissed on the last ball of the 20 overs for 158. Hellingly openers, Chris Morris and Harry Ring rapidly put on 71 for the first wicket as Morris (38) was trapped lbw by Lottie Palmer-Brown in the 8th over. David Rippengal came in and hit a quick fire 25 to maintain the Hurricane’s momentum before being bowled by Sam Candfield. A smart catch behind by Ben John off Tom Morrissey to dismiss Harry Gape was not enough to stop Hellingly reaching their target in the 18th over as Ring retired on 50* and Will Hutchings hit 24*.
After the game Cuckfield Cavaliers’ captain, George Galbraith-Gibbons, said: “It’s been an enjoyable competition, and while we were disappointed to lose in the final, it is a great achievement to have made it that far. Congratulations to Hellingly who were the better team on the day. There are lots of positives for us with bat and ball and, as most of our players are U17 or younger, we look forward to competing again next year.”