Friday saw hosts Menorca take on the cup holders Ibiza first up.
Menorca were asked to take to the field following the toss. They soon had Ibiza in all sorts of trouble. Tim Stacy got a ball that spat from back of a length in what could be described as Toomeyesque, realtor Sturgeon taking a fine catch diving forward from Wilson’s 4th ball.
Things didn’t get any better for the boys from the white isle as they were reduced to 18/4. James Harvey 33 offered some resistance in the middle order and was supported by Paul Cruttwell 26*. Menorca’s bowling attack was very consistent throughout there were 3 wickets for Hagger and 2 apiece for Hayden, Wilson and Catterall. The latter of the 2 wicket trio bowling an incredible 7 consecutive maidens he conceded 5 runs in his final over to finish with superb figures 8-7-5-2 the call up for Lancashire over 60’s clearly justified. Ibiza mustered a paltry 98 from 37.1 overs which was never really going to be enough to threaten the locals.
Despite losing Sturgeon lbw early doors after he’d peppered the infield, that was the only blip as fellow opener Hagger 44* was accompanied by team leopard Jake Cockroft. They batted superbly to reach the target in the 21st over Cockroft hitting a 6 to win the game and also take him to 50*.
A comprehensive 9 wicket victory for Menorca.
Saturday saw the two visiting sides lock horns and unfortunately there wasn’t to be any improvement from the Ibiza boys. Regrettably I don’t have the scorebook to give you all of the detail but I do know that despite a hard working 50 from opener Adam Johnson Ibiza posted only 77. Mallorca reaching the target for the loss of 1 wicket.
The Ibiza contingent particularly subdued following two heavy defeats. Club mouthpiece and cliché connoisseur Paul Partridge unusually quiet throughout the tournament alongside authority on all things Ibicenco Martin Makepeace. The absence of Cheshire set high flyer Johnno Gordon impacting massively on Ibiza’s chances.
So to Sunday’s winner takes all final.
Mallorca elected to bat first. Menorca’s bowling attack once again very accurate although Mallorca’s batsmen went hard at the ball from the off and had racked up a pretty impressive 72 from 12 overs when Vickers was caught for 48 off the bowling of Hagger. The Menorca bowlers turned the screw as wickets fell regularly Hagger taking 4/27 and the irrepressible Catterall continued his rich vein of form with 2/19. Mallorca’s 139 would be described as below par under normal circumstances.
However, Menorca’s reply got off to the worst possible start Hagger trapped in front offering no shot to one that bent back in from Vickers and Catterall leaving a straight one which clipped the top of off reducing the hosts to 3/2. There was dogged resistance from the estate agent pairing of Sturgeon and Tysoe who put on a partnership of 42 to help get us back on track. Both Vickers and Walker bowled with good pace and accuracy to make every run hard earned. Menorca’s middle order floundered unfortunately and despite Tysoe’s valiant attempt to see us over the line, he was dismissed in the final over with 3 required to win.
That left Brayne and Hayden with 3 runs to score from 3 balls Brayne squeezed a 2 to bring the scores level before Walker bowled a dot ball with the penultimate delivery. The tension around Biniparrell was incredible Brayne made contact with the final delivery but Hayden was harshly adjudged to have not made the ground unfortunately. Scores tied at 139. Following lengthy consultation with both captains and umpires.
The game was declared a draw and the intricacies of the laws to find a winner overlooked. This was a fitting and very sporting conclusion to a wonderful weekend of Balearic island cricket. The mutual respect amongst the teams and shown to the officials most commendable.
Menorca Cricket Club