Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Waltham win The Conference Cup

By Stan Nicholson

26 August 2013

How good is this competition ? An open draw, that is only split North/South in Round 1, not seeded (no waiting for later Rounds for the Premier League clubs to enter), and is open to all member clubs of the Club Cricket Conference who have 2 or more teams. Who else could run such a ‘beautiful’ competition ?

64 teams entered the 2013 competition. Premier League clubs Ealing, Colchester & East Essex, Wanstead, were ‘giant-killed’ in the 1st Round. Rounds 2 & 3 saw numerous Premier teams drawn against each other; the ‘magic of the cup’ was alive & kicking.

Last year’s winner, Valley End, were knocked-out in the quarter finals, & our first title winner, Finchley, were defeated by Sunbury. Brentwood, losing finalist in 2012, were destroyed by Blackheath in the 1st semi final, and Sunbury could not stop Waltham, who had looked the ‘bookies favourite’ after they had defeated Teddington in the quarter finals.

So today we arrived at Stanmore CC for the Final: Blackheath CC v Waltham CC.

Did anyone play cricket on the Saturday due to rain  ? (they didn’t at The Oval). With such a down-poor in the preceeding 48 hours, it was no wonder that the outfield was still a little damp before play on the Monday (however the wicket & square was completely dry). So it was a surprise when the Blackheath captain, Chris Willetts, won the toss and decided to bat.

Despite Willetts being dropped behind to a regulation catch in the 1st over, a steady start (30/1 off 10 overs), was un-done by proper line & length seam bowling ; with some movement (hence 42/3).

How many cup matches are dominated by quality left-arm spin bowling ? We have all seen that before, & the Waltham duo of Mehboob Elahi and Khawar Ali Kazmi, strangled the Blackheath innings. Blackheath were never confident enough to challange the fielding of several ‘senior’ Waltham players. Their innings was crying-out for short/quick singles ; but the wickets column was always against them.

Waltham set about the 118 target in their usual manner. Mehboob smashing anything up on a length, and Man-of-the Match, Tanweer Sikandar, waiting for the poor ball to punish. It was all plain-sailing at 96 for 1. Then Waltham decided to commit ‘hara-kiri’ against an attack that was bowling steadily enough, without looking threating.  One wicket brings two, two brings three, three ..... (Warren Lee claiming 6 consecutive wickets !! ). It came down to 2 runs needed with 2 wickets remaining. Mr Extras saw Waltham to victory via 2 legs byes.

Waltham, who lost the first ever Conference Cup final, were estatic (& deserved winners), and Blackheath had provided a drama finish.

Now that was a Cup Final !! 

The scorecard is here

The Club Cricket Conference would like to thank all clubs who entered the 2013 competition, and would like you all, & other CCC member clubs to enter the 2014 competition (notice of entry will be emailed to club Secretaries in October).

We would also like to thank Stanmore CC for hosting the final at short notice.

All the 2013 matches / results are here