SMITHS Smackers were crowned 2012 Hodgkinson Cup winners after four days of wonderfully entertaining six-a-side cricket at the Abbey lawn.
The final, between the Smackers and the Rugby Club, rounded off a thrilling week that was compressed into four days after the opening night was rained off.
On finals’ night, the Rugby Club asked Smiths to bat first and Rob Bentley (28 retired) and Dean Smith (21) were the main scorers in a competitive 68 run total.
In reply Glen Smith, Jack Berry and Tom Dixon all fell cheaply but Aiden Smith with 21 and then John Burgin and captain Adam Binns fought back hard. But with 21 needed from the last Josh Bentley over it was just too much and they fell six runs short in an exciting climax.
In the early rounds, the undefeated Smiths Smackers topped Group A, ahead of the Motley Crew who won two of their three matches and the Washday Blues who went through to the semi-finals by virtue of their bonus points tally.
Group B’s Happy Hookers (the Rugby Club second team) were always struggling to win but provided great entertainment while the club’s first team flexed their muscles with three comfortable wins.
Baston Tarts’ match with the Old Brunnians on Tuesday evening was the decisive tie and it went right to the wire.
The Brunnians scored 54 for 3 off their five overs and looked to be in control when the Tarts had scored only score 13 off their first two overs. Guy Cunningham and Liam Davies upped the scoring rate but 14 runs were still needed from the final over from skipper Jono Stainsby.
This was then reduced to four off the last ball and Davies calmly put the ball over the boundary to win the closest match off the week.
The first semi-final saw the Baston Tarts bat first against Smiths and they posted a creditable 54 for 4 with Lem reaching 25. Smiths reply was well paced and needing 13 off the last over Josh and Robert Bentley proved up to the task, scoring a boundary off the last ball to progress to the final.
The other match was more one-sided with the Rugby Club scoring 63, thanks to a dominant 24 off the last over with Berry (23) and Dixon (19) scoring well.
In reply the Washday Blues competed well but finished 15 runs short with John Lord top scoring on 24.