After their exhilarating Cricketer Cup run to the final, the Oundle Rovers suffered a six wicket defeat at the hands of 16 times winners the Old Tonbridgians at Arundel Castle on Sunday.
In front of a large crowd including many OOs the Rovers won the toss and elected to bat. However, unlike in the semi-final at Malvern, Oundle lost cheap wickets early on and never really recovered from 24 for 3. Greg Smith (27) made the top score but only three others, Harry Ramsden (13), Simon Hicks (10) and Charlie Fernandes (24) made double figures, with the Tonbridge spin quartet capitalising on the early breakthroughs from their seam bowlers. Oundle were all out for 124.
Patrick Foster (1-32) removed one of the Tonbridge openers early thanks to a towering catch by Greg Smith. Will Street (2-37) and Ben Graves (1-23) managed three late wickets but a very controlled 74* from Cowdrey saw Tonbridge home with plenty of overs to spare.
The large Oundle gathering at the game included many Oundle Rovers including the core of the 1988 &1989 Cricketer Cup winning squad. In addition the Head, Sarah Kerr-Dineen; Chairman of Governors, Robert Ringrose (St A 71) and OO Club President, Alastair Irvine (Sc 81), were also in attendance at a memorable occasion. An additional highlight was the presence of the ICC World Cup, won by England in that unforgettable final in mid-July, courtesy of Oundle Rover and England & Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive, Tom Harrison (G 89), who brought the trophy to the game, where many were thrilled to be photographed with it.
The Rovers will go again next season and while disappointed at the final hurdle captain Greg Smith is particularly excited to have seen recent leavers Charlie Fernandes, Simon Fernandes and James Esler come through as important team members during this campaign. In addition Alex Cunningham performed 12th man duties at Arundel on Sunday.
Rovers Team: Greg Smith [c] (St A 07), Ben Graves (F 15), Simon Fernandes (Ldr 18), George Johansen (F 11), Harry Ramsden (F 11), Stephen Lowe (G 99), James Esler (C 19), Simon Hicks (F 07), Charlie Fernandes (Ldr 17), Patrick Foster (St A 05), Will Street (Sc 10), Alex Cunningham [12th man] (L 19)
Tim Elliott (St A 77)
Oundle Rovers CC