Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 24th April 2024

Valley End CC’s meteoric rise to win The Conference Cup

28 August 2012

By Stan Nicholson

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Valley End CC's fairy tale continued when they brought off a convincing win in the final of The Conference Cup yesterday at Amersham CC defeating Brentwood CC by 46 runs. This was Valley End's 4th 'big scalp' of the competition and follows on 5 successive years of promotion through the Surrey Championship with essentially the same team.

They currently resde in the upper reaches of Division 1 of The Rymans Surrey Championship and harbour further ambitions with a new ground incorporating two squares which has recently come into use.  Roy of the Rovers would have been proud to be a part of their meteoric rise.

The organisers didn't sleep much over the weekend as weather forecasts showed a bleak outlook for the August Bank Holiday Monday. Rain delayed the start until 12.45pm. Both captains fretted over the toss.  All outcomes seemed possible, from no result and a replay, a result based on Duckworth Lewis or a straightforward win or lose 45 over match.  It transpired. in the end that both captains would have bowled first. 

It was Brentwood who won the toss however and invited Valley End to bat. That had no impact on the Valley End opening batsmen, Paul Williams and Darren Redwood, who achieved a steady 4 runs per over. It was not until Joe Buttleman, first change for Brentwood, hit the right spot just short of a length that they were rewarded with the wickets of the openers with the score on 86 and 91 respectively. Brentwood then held the upper hand through their spinners Harri Jones (2 wickets) and Ian Belchamber (1 wicket) bringing Valley End to a low point of 174 for 5 with 8 overs remaining. Man-of-the-match, Ben Kingsnorth, then blasted away for 64, to take Valley End to a decent score of 236.

Valley End captain, Andrew Newberry, invoked the master stroke of the match by bowling his spinners at the opening of Brentwood's inninngs. It worked as two of the best club opening batsmen in the South East of England, Jon Walford and Aaron West, were dismissed in the first 3 overs. Another wicket fell when the score was on 22, strangling Brentwood's enteprise and, eventually, reducing them to 112 for 9. Newberry himself, normally the opening bowler, destroyed Brentwood's midlle order as bowler number 7, with 4 for 14 from just 3 overs. Moore and Belchamber batting at 10 and 11 then put on 78 for an unbroken last wicket partnership.  It was a losing cause, but it demonstrated what others could have done before them.

Valley End CC, worthwhile victors, join Finchley, Wanstead and Lordswood, with their names on the The Conference Cup.

Both clubs and the Club Cricket Conference were greatly impressed by the facilities provided by Amersham CC and for their excellent hosting of the final.  A fate worse than death was however only narrowly averted when Amersham managed to replenish their exhausted beer stocks from the cellar of the local rugby club.

Full scorecard here