Oundle Rovers CC will appear in their tenth Cricketer Cup Final at Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, at 11am, on Sunday 8 August 2021.
The club, formed mostly of former pupils and teachers, secured a hard fought victory over Eton Ramblers at Oundle on 25 July seeing the Rovers into a second successive final appearance, having also reached the 2019 Final.
Oundle’s campaign has seen tough competition throughout the four rounds so far. In the first round a Ben Graves (102) century (only the 13th Rover to score a Cricketer Cup century in 52 years) and hard hitting James Esler (49*) paved the way for 74 run victory over the Charterhouse Friars, with the Rovers bowling attack spearheaded by Will Street (3-42) strangling the Friars to 176 all out. St Edwards Martyrs 210-6, in the second round, was surpassed mainly through the contributions of Harry Ramsden (65) and George Johansen (57) with captain Greg Smith (39*) accelerating the Rovers over the line.
The Rovers travelled to Old Cranleighans on Euro Final day with four key players missing and three making their Cricketer Cup debuts. Amartya Kaul (27), Simon Fernandes (41), a defiant Theo Aubrey (15*) and the quite outstanding Greg Smith (81) saw the Rovers to 197 from the depths of 120-8. Cranleigh started quickly and looked set for an early win, but they underestimated the Rovers attack. The ageless Jules McAlpine (3-36) and the miserly Tommy Simeons (4-28) did most of the damage, but a quite outstanding fielding performance by the whole team played a huge part. The icing on the cake was 2021 leaver, Jack Howard, clean bowling one of Cranleigh’s top players to break their eighth wicket and effectively secure the 38 run victory.
Against Eton the spinners again won the day in the face of an onslaught of big shots from Eton’s batsmen from the first over. Harry Ramsden (4-36) and Will Street (3- 35) did the bulk of the damage but run outs by Patch Foster and Charlie Fernandes and two outstanding catches, one by by Charlie the other by James Esler, saw the Rovers teamwork and fielding play a key role in the modest Eton total of 178. The Rovers 4 wicket win was not completed without some tense moments but an excellent opener’s innings by Ben Graves (40), a game changing 32 from 25 balls from Charlie Fernandes and an immaculate and patient 48* from George Johansen saw the Rovers to the cusp of victory. James Esler (15*) completed the job with a huge straight six that was last seen heading north towards Glapthorn.
The Rovers play the Old Millfieldians in the final who fielded current West Indian Test opener Kieron Powell in their Quarter Final. They are appearing in their first final in only their second season in the competition. The Rovers are the third most successful club in the 54 year history of the competition sitting well above all of the schools on Oundle’s traditional school circuit in the all-time merit table.
Support from Oundle Rovers, Old Oundelians and friends of Oundle will be greatly appreciated by the team on the day at what is arguably the most beautiful first class cricket ground in the country. Parking will be available around the boundary and experience suggests it is the perfect place to take a picnic (BN18 9LH). For those supporting from afar you will be able to view the scorecard online here which will also be shared on the OO Club Facebook and Twitter on Match Day.
Oundle School wishes the team all the very best in the final.
(Featured Image Credit: Barbara Bett)