Tense win set up final

THEY joined the Ridley League a few years back as dominoes novices, but Mill Green Cricketers qualified in style last week for their biggest test yet – the cup final.

A tense 5-4 win at Chelmsford City FC, earned by a six-holes margin in the last game, earned the Fryerning pub a tilt against twice holders Hatfield Peverel Swan on May 17.

Both finalists were quick out of the traps. The Cricketers opened up a 4-1 lead, only to see it evaporate under a late attack by City, who had beaten both last year’s finalists to reach the last four. The home side won three on the trot, but Gary Newman and Dick Clough’s well-timed run saw the Cricketers home.

The Swan made an even more decisive start at Margaretting, reeling off the first three games. Though the Bull had the better of it from there on, the gap remained frustratingly un-pluggable, and a win in each of the next two rounds saw the visitors through.

Fred Allen and Alan French grabbed the decisive point for the 2003 and 2009 winners to continue the Bull’s unhappy record in the competition – just one losing final appearance.