Stamford Town retained their Burghley Park sixes crown with a dramatic last-ball win over Nassington in the final on Friday night.
Tim Juggins was the Stamford star striking the last two balls of the innings to the boundary, the second with a cunning reverse paddle off unfortunate bowler James Pope, but Nassington felt they were robbed of victory by a controversial umpiring decision earlier in the over.
Stamford started the last over requiring 21 to win and Nassington were soon celebrating a caught behind decision against top scorer Chris Bore, but to the horror of wicket-keeper Dan Robinson umpire Derek Patience not only signalled not out he awarded a wide. Robinson was confident enough in his appeal not to take advantage of an easy stumping opportunity, but, although Bore was dismissed next ball (to the obvious glee of Robinson), the four runs Stamford received for the wide as well as the extra ball ultimately proved decisive.
It was harsh on Nassington who lost to the same opponents in the final last year. They looked in control of the final once another fine knock from man of the tournament Conor Craig (45) had steered them to a challenging 70-1 in their five overs.
Bore, who was equally confident he hadn’t hit the week’s most controversial delivery, struck two excellent straight sixes in his 23 and even after he departed Stamford still needed 11 from the final two deliveries. A rather more obvious wide from Pope enabled Juggins to guide them home to the delight of most of a 1,000-strong crowd as well as the excitable man on MC duty who seemed thrilled that a team of local lads rather a team with a Kiwi import had won.
It was however the exciting climax a terrific Burghley Park cricket week had deserved. The ground looked magnificent bathed in early evening sunshine and the big crowd lapped up a decent finals night.
Stamford had pipped Ufford Park by seven runs in their semi-final, while Nassington saw off Barnack by 11 runs, a task made easier once big-hitting Zeeshan Manzoor had departed to a brilliant catch on the run from Tom Norman for 23.
Norman’s effort won him the champagne moment of the night prize.
In the final quarter-finals on Thursday night Ufford Park posted the highest score of the week at that point, reaching 88-2 in five overs in an eight-run win over Castor but one match later Nassington crashed 90-5 on their way to a 32-run win over Ketton.
Barnack, complete with the area’s most aggressive natural talent Manzoor, also made it through with a comfortable win over Baston.
Ross Keymer smacked an unbeaten 42 (four sixes) for Ufford, but it needed a tight last over from Joe Harrington to seal victory after Ryan Evans had smacked three sixes in one Tom Hart over.
Conor Craig (33) helped Nassington hammer 30 runs from Jonathan Smith’s opening over and their final score was never threatened by Ketton.
Nassington wicket-keeper Dan Robinson claimed the champagne moment of the night award for executing a run-out with a boundary throw.
Manzoor limbered up for finals night with a couple of sixes in his 30 before he was superbly caught on the boundary by Liam Davies.