Metro End Decade Long BBS Cup Drought

London Metro won the BBS Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup for the first time since 2009 with an 89 run win over Somerset VICC at the Brightside County Ground in Bristol on Saturday 31st August.

The start of the match was delayed by 45 minutes due to rain but the excellent work of Gloucestershire CCC’s groundstaff meant that the pitch was in excellent condition when play did get underway.

Sent into bat Metro lost two early wickets as Ed Hossell’s fielding shone through despite the cloudy weather. Firstly he caught Nick Ebbeck from Steve Cook’s bowling before running out Andy Law. At 43/2 Matt Dean & Justin Hollingsworth started slowly before taking complete control & dispatching all of Somerset’s bowlers to every corner of the ground. Eventually Mikey Contreras removed Dean for 73 but not before the Metro opener had become the first player to pass fifty in four separate BBS Cup finals. Dean & Hollingsworth’s 125 run partnership was also the second highest partnership in cup final history.

Ed Hossell did strike twice more before Metro’s innings ended, he had Justin Hollingsworth out caught & bowled for 89 & then combined with Rob Crisp to run out Mark Bond for 21. Mark Russell & Mo Ghalib were not out at the end as Metro finished their 30 overs on 233/5, the 4th highest BBS Cup final score in the competitions 41 year history.

Somerset’s reply started slowly thanks to excellent Metro bowling & after 6 overs the cidermen had only reached 14/1. That one wicket to fall was Rory Hossell caught for 1 by Matt Dean from Mo Ghalib’s bowling. However Ed Hossell, with able support from Steve Cook, got his side back into the game & after ten overs Somerset were on 61/1, slightly ahead of Metro’s score at the same point of their innings.

The game turned on its head in the 13th over, Metro captain Rory Field conceded 3 boundaries & a wide from the first 4 balls of the over & things looked to be swinging in Somerset’s direction before in successive deliveries Field brilliantly caught & bowled Hossell for 65 & had Rob Crisp caught first ball by Mo Ghalib. Steve Cook continued to battle whilst wickets fell around him but Somerset fell far too far behind the required run rate to have a chance of winning the match. Mo Ghalib picked up his second wicket shortly after Somerset’s score passed 100 but Field was unsuccessful in his attempt to take a hat-trick.

Cook had come to the crease with the score at 6/1 & was finally dismissed with his side on 137, he had scored 34 from 71 balls before becoming the first of Andy Law’s 2 wickets for 3 runs. Somerset finished their 30 overs on 144/7 with Kathryn Jelfs-White & Graham Glover remaining at the crease as Metro finally won back blind cricket’s oldest trophy.

For his crucial pair of wickets & some excellent captaincy Rory Field was named partially sighted man of the match, whilst Steve Cook’s exceptional innings earned him Total man of the match. We were delighted to have Gloucestershire CCC & Scotland International bowler Stuart Whittingham present to hand out the trophies at the end of the match.

This was the first time Metro had won the cup since it was renamed in honour of their former player Heindrich Swanepoel & it was obvious as Rory Field raised the cup in celebration how much this meant to his side.

British Blind Sport Vice Chairman & Cricket Competitions Secretary Dave Gavrilovic Said:

“Everyone involved would like to thank The Primary Club for their continued support of this competition & of blind cricket in general. I would also like to thank Lizzie Allen & her team at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club for hosting this year’s final & for all of their support in making the day such a success.”