The victorious Cheshire team with the Unicorns 50-Over Trophy

Unicorns KO Trophy Final at Wormsley CC, Wednesday 29 August 2018

By Jim Law

Cheshire 248-7, Devon 246-9.
Cheshire won by 2 runs




Cheshire hold nerve for dramatic 2 run win

Simon Normanton takes man of the match in nail biter


After a 22-year wait, Cheshire at last took the Unicorns KO Trophy with an exhilarating day's cricket at Wormsley.

It all boiled down to a tense last over with Devon needing seven to win and Wayne White using all his experience to see Rick Moore's side home after Simon Normanton had swung the game Cheshire's way with an outstanding 4-21.

You could hear a pin drop at picturesque Wormsley as White lined up for that final over which yielded just four runs. White's fifth ball removed Dan Goodey's stumps to virtually seal the win. The last pair mustered two from the last ball and the game was over, Cheshire getting home by just two runs.

Cue the celebrations to take away Monday's T20 final defeat and cap a memorable one-day season.

It was a game with many twists and turns.

Having been put into bat, Cheshire got off to a flyer as a hobbling Will Evans (45) and Calum Rowe (58) added 77 for the first wicket. Luke Robinson then added 31 before the innings meandered against the Devon attack, Jamie Stephens taking 4-53.

Cheshire looked like posting a below par score but enter Ed Fluck with a fine unbeaten 54 to end on a respectable 248-7.

History suggests a score around the 250 mark is there or there abouts in Wormsley finals but Devon set about their reply with relish and looked comfortable at 115-2.

But the game changed dramatically as Moore turned to Normanton, the Stockport Georgians' spinner who's had a major influence on the side in his first season.

He bowled Liam Lewis with his second ball followed by Matt Thompson three balls later. A miserly ten over spell followed and with Josh and Zac Bess' wickets also under his belt, Devon were reeling at 133-5.

Slipping behind the rate, James Burke then took control to bring his side right back into things as he and Gary Chapell added 70 before driving Wayne White to Jack Williams at mid-on for a fine 95.

Yet still Devon were pushing and it seemed inevitable the game would go down to the wire.

26 were needed from three, then 14 from two. A run out meant Devon had lost more wickets meaning the game couldn't be tied.

So it came down to that final over and White having to dig deep.

A memorable win and a delighted skipper. "It was a terrific game of cricket." Said Moore. "And all credit to the boys for bouncing back after Monday's T20 disappointment."

"We really dug deep in a great team effort." Moore was reluctant to focus on individuals but highlighted the outstanding performance from Simon Normanton. "He's been a breath of fresh air to the side," he said.

He could too have easily talked about contributions from Will Evans who was in great form all week despite carrying an injury. Calum Rowe who came into the side for this final and showed his class, Luke Robinson's excellent attacking play, Ash Davis bowling as well as he has for a while and of course Wayne White and all his experience.

All thirteen players across the three Wormsley games deserved credit but the final word from Moore was again about team work.

"We've worked hard this season. This is a great reward. We'll enjoy the celebrations."

Simon Normanton was nominated man-of-the-match by the MCCA's Phil Caley, ahead of James Burke's fine innings.

Scorecard

This was the team