DARWEN suffered heartache and heartbreak as they agonisingly missed out on a place in the TWP Wealth Twenty20 finals day as the perfect hosts were robbed of a spot in the showpiece showdown on the final ball of the first semi-final yesterday.
The Towers, who won the right to stage the Northern League’s popular event after winning their group, pulled out all the stops to make the day a success off the field.
And after Darwen had posted a testing 150-6 it seemed as though Jordan Clarke’s men were to book the final fling. But in a thrilling chase Blackpool edged over the line on the last ball as Steven Mercer hit two successive boundaries.
Needing five off two deliveries with two wickets left and Darwen pro George Linde bowling the game was in the balance but Mercer’s square cut found the ropes after Ammer Mirza slipped while trying to cut the ball off on the edge.
That tied the scores but Blackpool needed one run as they had lost more wickets. Mercer obliged with a brutal boundary after the field had been brought in.
It was tough on the Towers, who had pulled the game back after Blackpool pro Christi Viljoen made a spectacular 22 before falling to a stunning Linde catch in the deep and when Andy Furiss (18) and skipper Paul Danson (12) had gone it seemed like Darwen’s day.
Greg Lawrenson claimed three wickets and the Towers also effected three runs outs to turn up the pressure only for it all to go wrong later.
Earlier Mirza made a fine 36 but the headline act was John Cordingley who carried his bat for 61.
He hit six fours and one six in a quite brilliant innings that oozed class, while Kamran Anwar’s booming 34 not out helped Darwen reach their 150-6.
It looked like enough but Blackpool had other ideas.
Lancaster suffered a mid-innings collapse as they lost the second semi-final to Netherfield.
In the final, it was Field claimed the silverware as a 150-plus score was too many for Blackpool, who closed on 117-7.