Rafferty holds nerve as Shireshead win first trophy of season

Shireshead won the Division One Twenty20 Cup.
Shireshead won the Division One Twenty20 Cup.
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Shireshead clinched their first trophy of the season with a five run victory over Windermere in the Westmorland Cricket League Division One Twenty20 cup final.

Having decided to bat first on a good surface Shireshead were away quickly as 19 were taken from the first two overs by Phil Oliver (24) and Tom Jacques.

When both departed, smartly stumped by Sam Fletcher off the bowling of Nick Lewthwaite, the score stood at 39 for 2 from six overs.

This brought together Phil Bovis (56) and self-proclaimed T20 specialist Nick Rafferty (45) and they proceeded to add 110 from the next 78 balls, striking 14 boundaries between them.

Dave Jack then provided the perfect close to the innings as he struck three huge sixes from the five balls he faced to allow Shireshead to post a highly competitive, but not out of reach, 166 for 7.

Sam Fletcher (30) began Windermere’s reply in the best possible fashion as he took 13 from Tom Jacques’ first over.

Despite a good opening spell from Dave Jack at one end, the Windermere innings had still rattled along to 48 without loss after six overs and Shireshead skipper Paul Yates turned to himself in an effort to stem the flow of runs.

It was a move that paid immediate dividends as Yates bowled Fletcher before Rowan Upton (2 for 30) followed this with two wickets in his first over to tilt the game back in Shireshead’s favour.

Nick Lewthwaite (69) was now at the wicket with Windermere skipper Matt Park (26) and they continued to take the game forward at pace.

With 46 required from 30 balls, the game was in the balance and James Rafferty’s introduction to the attack made things trickier still for Windermere, and when Dave Jack returned to bowl the penultimate over Windermere needed 25 from 12 balls for victory.

Lewthwaite struck the second ball of the over for six, before a superb piece of fielding from Pete Dodd ended with Jack running Lewthwaite out attempting a second run.

A mighty six from James Crawford reduced left Windermere needing 10 from five balls but James Rafferty nervelessly completed the rest of the over as Shireshead got home with five runs to spare.