Clitheroe side march on to the regional finals

Clitheroe Cobras Under 15s who won the LCB Cup and will now take part in the ECB Under event

Clitheroe Cobras Under 15s who won the LCB Cup and will now take part in the ECB Under event

First published in Sport

Clitheroe Cricket Club’s, Cobras under 15s have won the LCB Cup on finals day at Elton CC in Bury.

The day consisted of semi-finals and finals with the Cobras taking on Sefton Park CC and Ormskirk up against on Brooklands from South Manchester.

Clitheroe booked their place having beaten Adlington and Whalley Range in the earlier rounds.

The Chatburn Road side won the toss and put Sefton in to bat on a damp wicket.

Dom Stuart was unplayable on a pacey bouncy track, and he soon struck removing the opening bat in his second over thanks to a catch behind by Tom Stones.

He was ably supported by James Scorah and Harry Ellis and the arrival of Eli Smith soon paid dividends as he took 2 for 9 off his four overs.

With Scorah, Frankie Jackson and Callum Spink-Baines exemplary in the field, Sefton struggled to post a decent total.

Harry Lang came into the attack and took an impressive four wickets backed up by tight bowling from Jackson.

Despite some aggressive late batting, the Merseyside club only managed a total of 78-9 off their allotted 20 overs which didn’t appear to be enough.

This proved to be the case as the Cobras knocked off the score in quick time, with Callum Birtwell-Jones and Harry Lang passing the total inside eight overs scoring 25 and 30 respectively.

The locals then watched the other semi-final which was a closer affair, but Brooklands ran out comfortable winners.

The final turned out to be an absolute thriller.

Clitheroe again won the toss and again opted to bowl first.

But after 11 overs this seemed to have been a poor decision as Brooklands were destroying the Clitheroe attack.

Despite losing two wickets to Jackson and Lang they were 81 off 11 overs.

The usual tight fielding had slipped and mistakes were aplenty.

It appeared that this was one step too far for Clitheroe, but cometh the hour cometh the men.

Callum Birtwell-Jones came onto bowl and he performed a remarkable piece of fielding making a diving stop off his own bowling, releasing it to keeper Stones who ran out their star man.

This one piece of brilliance kick started the Cobra’s recovery, and they built on this to restrict Brooklands to 130-6, when 160 was looking a realistic possibility.

Birtwell-Jones took 2-17, Angus Spencer nipped in with a vital wicket at the end thanks to the keeping prowess off Stones. He had three stumpings in the innings and was faultless throughout.

However, the reply got off to the worse possible start with Birtwell-Jones being run out for just one.

Lang was joined by under 13 Sam Mulligan who displayed a great maturity taking the attack to the opposition.

He scored a run a ball 38 before he was bowled.

Captain Dom Stuart came to the crease and with Lang anchoring the innings, he was free to play his natural hard-hitting game – and after a couple of enormous sixes he was out for a quick-fire 27.

With 28 needed off the last four overs, Tom Stones kept up the momentum and he and Lang saw the innings through with Stones hitting a four off the first ball of the last over to ensure Clitheroe under 15s firs ever LCB cup win.

Lang showed great resolve holding the innings together finishing on 33, and Stones hit 16 off eight balls.

The victory backs up the under 13s LCB success last season, where a number of current crop of Cobras players were involved in lifting that trophy. Clitheroe will take take on Cheshire Cricket Board’s Nantwich CC in the Regional stages of the ECB NCC U15 competition.

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