17 September 2022
by Stan Nicholson
On a bright sunny day at Harefield CC, Camberley managed to get the better of Brentwood, to win The Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy 2022.
An evenly fought match that was dominated by errors from batsmen of both sides. That of course led to an intriguing match of ebbs & flows, that was always in the hands of either team.
Camberley won the toss, and had no hesitation to bat, following their previous runs in the competition (Brentwood would have done the same).
Their start took an early upset when first Max Soveller was caught in the 2nd over off the leg-spin of Jack Levy, then in the following over their prolific Kiwi, Lauchie Johns, played all-around a full ball from Harry Phillips. They were the first of many poor strokes.
A 3rd wicket stand between Glenn Taylor and Todd Hutcheson saw the score rapidly progress to 98, when the left arm spin of veteran Ian Belchamber dismissed Hutcheson. in the 15th over. The end of the 18th over saw Taylor run himself out, by not waiting for the ball to pass bowler Tom Oakley, by which time he was half way down the wicket. Wickets 5 and 6 fell in each of the next two overs, and Camberley were in trouble with 6 down for only 126. With so many overs left, it was time for a re-build, and against Belchamber and the off spin of Harri Smith, it had to be slowly-slowly. Paul Stephens and Tom Holden played that way until Stephens was out in the 30th over, with the score creeping up to 149 - still a lot to do. And that was done when Sam Holmes joined Holden. By a mixture of continued caution and the odd aggressive shot, they ensured that no collapse occurred, and built a 68 run partnership until Holden was dismissed for 42 in the 43rd over. In reaching 227 all out, Camberley had given themselves a chance.
Although Brentwood lost captain Aaron West to the first ball of their innings, their top order batsmen looked in no trouble until the fatal ball/poor shot. Eddie Ballard lbw with the score on 49, then a solid looking partnership between Will Buttleman and Tom Oakley took the score to 116, before Buttleman was lbw to Elliot Green in the 25th over (Greens first over). There then followed a mini-collapse against the leg-spin of Green and left-arm spin of Faarhan Khan, to 129/6 in the 31st. The nervous tension of a final ?. The run-rate was nearing 8 per over, and that proved too much for the remaining Brentwood batsmen, although with Jack Levy getting to 27 and Harry Phillips 16, the match was never out-of-reach. Keeper Gabriel Austin was left on 29 not out at the end, with Brentwood 10 runs short.
For his efforts with the bat in the Camberley recovery, Tom Holden, was judged to be The Man of the Match.
So, victory to Camberley, who have their name on the Bertie Joel cup for the first time. (a long time in waiting since runners-up to Forest Hill in 1969)