09:00AM, Friday 07 June 2019
Cookham Dean all but booked their place in the knock-out stages of the Julian Cup on Tuesday night, holding off a determinedeffort from hosts Maidenhead & Bray to come away with a decisive 12-run victory.
Patrick Castleden’s men certainly didn’t have things all their own way and, having allowed Kieran Grey to blast his way to 53no in Bray’s reply, their chances of victory hung firmly in the balance.
Batting first, Dean produced an under-par display at the crease, with only Jonny Parker (51no) covering himself in any glory as the Home Counties Premier Division 2 outfit were bowled out for 135 runs.
But, just when it looked like the hosts would canter to their target, a spell of five wickets in six overs gave them too much to do in the latter overs and they came up 12 runs short.
Two wins from two should see Dean through to the
semi-finals, with one group match at home to Wargrave to come on June 18. Dean defeated Burnham by 12 runs in their first group game.
“It would be nice to get a clean sweep of group wins by beating Wargrave but really it’s all about qualifying,” said Castleden. “We’re a strong team in this competition but cricket in Maidenhead is very strong at the moment.
“Boyne Hill and North Maidenhead are both strong so it will be a very tough semi-final if we get there.
“But we’ll just deal with whatever hand we’re given.
“In a knock-out competition like this, anyone can win. You’ve just got to go out and play your best cricket.”
Castleden highlighted the spell of wickets Dean took after Grey’s retirement that turned the game in their
“Having been bowled out for 135 we knew we’d have to bowl pretty well to win,” he said. “But after 10 overs I was concerned because our top bowlers hadn’t made the breakthrough.
“But when their two openers retired it completely changed the game.
The Dean skipper added: “We got five or six wickets in the space of six overs and that spell turned the game in our favour.
“They needed 10 runs an over off the last three overs and we managed to hold them at bay.
“It was quite an interesting game really, because both
innings mirrored each other, both teams started well with the bat before stalling.
“We beat Burnham in our first game so two wins from two is a good start.
“I like the new format because you probably only need to win two of your three games to go through.”
Wargrave will look to record a second group win when they visit Burnham on Tuesday, while North Maidenhead entertain Boyne Hill on Thursday, June 13, having got the better of Marlow in their opening pool game.
A date for Stoke Green’s home game against Marlow is still to be confirmed.
The Julian Cup Plate competition also got underway last month with Boyne Hill (194-9) beating White Waltham (139-8). Farnham Royal (139-6) got the better of Pinkneys Green (124-6) on their return to the competition while Stoke Green’s second team (130-4) defeated Littlewick Green (126-9).
The final group match saw Taplow (120-3) beat Burnham B (115-8) in a low-scoring contest. Taplow were due to host Boyne Hill B in their second group match last night (Wednesday), with Farnham Royal in action against Littlewick Green.
White Waltham will host Burnham B and Stoke Green welcome Pinkneys Green on Wednesday.
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