GORING Cricket Club won the last-ever Worthing Evening Cricket League match on Tuesday evening in thrilling fashion.
After Chipppingdale posted 128-9 in their 20-over innings in the KO Cup final, Goring were on 128-9 with one ball to go. A wicket for Chipps would have seen them lift the cup on fewer wickets lost and if the score had stayed the same, a replay would have taken place this Tuesday, but Goring’s Kieran Leeming smashed a four to complete the league and cup double for his side in the league’s 60th and final season.
Goring captain Alex Maynard said: “It was a bit nervy, wasn’t it? I think we’ve been the best team over the season, it’s pleasing to win and to be a part of history.
“It’s great to win the double, we’re happy to win an exciting, tight game, we were confident we could chase 129, and so it proved. We deserved the victory, and to win it off the last ball is very pleasing and satisfying.”
Goring had won the toss and inserted Chipps, and the decision appeared to have paid off when opener Nathan Binstead (six), Simon Martyn (three), and Adam Waymark (four) all fell inside the opening four overs to paceman Barney Lyons.
Opener Faisal Khan, with 29, and Darren Ball steadied the ship, but when both fell in successive balls, Chipps were struggling on 63-5. After Khan had fallen, a middle-order slump had put them in deep trouble at 77-7. Captain Ollie Hall’s unbeaten 39, which included five fours and a six, saw them hit 41 runs off the last four overs, and they finished on 128-9.
It looked as though Goring would reach the target with a bit to spare as they raced to 35 without loss inside five overs, but Hall (3-31) gave Chipps hope when he dismissed big-hitters Dan Pittham and Matt Keen for ducks in quick succession.
Skipper Alex Maynard then fell to Khan, and the holders were suddenly wobbling on 65-4.
A mid-innings collapse followed, and from a position of comfort, Goring found themselves relying on the tail to haul them back into contention. Lyons and Leeming looked to have got Goring home, but when Lyons fell for 16, with 14 runs still needed, a thrilling finale was in store.
Needing seven off the last over, Harvey Sparks was bowled by Adrian Croft’s first delivery to leave them nine down. But the last pair calmly traded singles, before Leeming hit a four off the final ball to seal Goring’s victory in the gathering gloom.
Chipps skipper Hall said: “It’s not nice losing such a tight game, we knew we needed wickets to keep us in it and we did all we could.
“We’re happy to be a part of this competition and, hopefully, it’ll be a springboard for some of the younger players. Well done to Goring.”
League stalwart, fixtures secretary Laurie Claydon, who has been in his role with the league for 56 of its 60-year life, after he took up the position in 1956, said: “It has been something I have enjoyed and it has never been a chore.”
“I have a lot of memories. There have been some very big innings over the years and some good players. Ken McEwan stood out, he was an outstanding South African batsman,who went on to play for Essex.”