High Roding youngsters lift trophy as impromptu Covid Cup benefits NHS charities

High Roding Cricket Club were the winners of the Covid Cup. Back row: Richard Pilcher, Harry Pilcher

High Roding Cricket Club were the winners of the Covid Cup. Back row: Richard Pilcher, Harry Pilcher, Chris Townsend, Sam South, Ben Chillingworth, David Townsend, Walter Forsey. Front row: George Halls, Archie Halls, Josh O'Connor, Freddie Burns. - Credit: Archant

High Roding claimed a deserved victory in the new and quickly created Covid Cup.

The T20-style, limited over competition was the brainchild of Paul Gravatt at Aythorpe Roding Cricket Club and has helped raised £1,000 for NHS charities.

It saw eight teams whittled down via a group stage to a final four who battled it out over the course of one day at Aythorpe’s Roundbush Green ground.

And on a rain-affected afternoon, Roding, whose squad included nine players who had graduated from the colts plus two dads, lifted the trophy with a 13-run success over Stock.

They had reached the final in relative comfort, beating Rayleigh by 30 runs in the semi-final.

It may have cold and blustery for the 10am start but it did at least stay dry as Roding made 161-5 in their 20 overs.

Walter Forsey hit 31, Ben Chillingworth 39 and David Townsend 30 but it was George Halls who anchored their innings with a magnificent 55 from 48 balls that included three sixes.

Most Read

In response, Rayleigh were all out for 131 with Archie Halls, George’s brother, taking 3-22 including a wicket maiden. Chris Townsend also took two wickets.

Stock’s path to the final was with victory over Springfield and the last game of the day began with Roding opting to bat in deteriorating weather conditions.

And they made a terrible start, losing openers Forsey first ball and Harry Pilcher 10 balls later.

George Halls and Chillingworth set about rebuilding the innings either side of a 15-minute rain delay that saw the match reduced to 18 overs. They added 90 runs in nine overs before Chillingworth was bowled for 55 and Halls for 27.

A competitive 148-7 was their reward and Roding kept plugging away after Stock started the chase brightly.

Josh O’Connor Archie Halls each took three wickets while Freddie Burns picked up two.

There could have been more wickets earlier too but the wet conditions caused the ball to slip through a few fingers and go to ground.

The fielding though was excellent and Stock’s last real chance of victory disappeared at the start of the 19th over when Norton fell for 48 from 36 balls, bowled by Chris Townsend.

It left them with 28 needed from 11 but despite some forceful blows from Richard Cory, he was bowled by Burns with the last ball of the match to seal the win.