Nicholson Cricketer Cup Prelim Round Eton Ramblers 128,  Oundle Rovers 132-5. Oundle won by 5 wickets.

The Rovers began their 2024 Cricketer Cup campaign with an excellent win at Eton on Sunday 19 May. Drawn in the bye round against 2023 semi-finalists, Eton, the Rovers travelled to Windsor with some apprehension. However an early breakfast meet set the Rovers up for a very successful morning session. Having lost the toss Oundle at one point were looking at a large Eton score. However 48 for 1 off 8 overs disintegrated to 90-8 and 129 all out. Outstanding catches by Will Street and Ben Graves and two fine stumpings by Simon Fernandes provided the key backup to a devastating spell from Street (5-41) and quick wickets from Tommy Simeons (3-14). Very pleasingly Jack Oughtred (1-16), on his first Cricketer Cup appearance for 8 years, chipped in with the big Eton wicket of Al Russell.

The Rovers top order all got starts. Joe Austin (12) and Graves (12) moved the team easily into the twenties but both then fell. Simon Fernandes(34) and captain Greg Smith (28) put together a 42 run 3rd wicket partnership and then James Esler (20), Tom Bishop (10*) and Charlie Fernandes (18*) combined to take the Rovers over the line. All-in-all a convincing victory in what could have been a tricky bye round challenge.

Nicholson Man-of-the-match was Will Street for his outstanding spell of bowling, the second time he has captured five wickets in a Cricketer Cup match. A feat achieved only 10 times by an Oundle Rover in the 55 years of competition.

The Rovers will now travel to Radley on June 9 for the first round proper. Support welcome.