Worly bow out in last eight
The Lord’s dream may have been extinguished for another 12 months, but captain Graham Ford could not have been prouder of his Worlington players following their six-wicket defeat to Mayfield on Sunday.
Ford’s men had already made club history in this year’s The Cricketer National Village Cup, having reached the quarter-finals for the very first time.
But that is where their quest for an appearance at the home of English cricket – the venue for the final – came to a halt on a sweltering afternoon.
Batting had been Worlington’s strong suit throughout the competition, having seen seven centuries scored in just five outings.
However, the big scores eluded the hosts on this occasion, with their total of 180 all out at least 50 runs short of being competitive.
Sussex League Mayfield lost four wickets in reply, but their chase was relatively straightforward as their batsmen remained patient, punishing the bad deliveries as they reached their target in 35.2 overs.
Nevertheless, with the club having scaled new heights in a national tournament, Ford insisted his team had no reason to be down in the mouth.
“They got off to a good start,” said Ford.
“We gave our wickets away in the middle when we just needed to combine it, get to 30 overs and then try to target around 220 or 230.
“It did not work out. With a score like that you need to get early wickets and bowl really well, but it was not to be.
“I am really proud of the boys that we got this far and I believe we will come back stronger.
“We are probably three or four players short so we have done really well to get this far.
“With the squad we have, we have massively over-achieved.
“To get to the quarter-finals is a great achievement for the club.
“It is the benchmark and hopefully we can go even better next year.
“The amount of energy this has generated is fantastic so now we need to use it properly.”
After being put into bat by the away side, Ford (12) and fellow opener Ziaf Kulasi got Worlington off to a positive start.
Kulasi was particularly aggressive, scoring 57 runs – seven fours and three sixes – before he was caught in the deep by James Chaplin.
James Watson – Worlington’s dangerman with three centuries to his name in the competition – departed for 15 and once the top three had gone, the home team struggled to build any momentum.
A cameo from Daren Hayward threatened to take Worlington over the 200-run mark as he sent a six back over the head of bowler Callum Saker.
However, the bowler got his revenge with the very next ball when he removed the batsmen’s bails for 27.
After the resumption, opener Charlie Tunstall bowled well for Worlington and was rewarded with the wicket of Chaplin (25), but by that point Mayfield already had 53 runs on the board and were well on their way to victory.
Steven Flack trapped Harrison Tagg lbw (33) and when Harry Lloyd (26) was bowled by Kulasi soon after to leave Mayfield 101-3, Worlington had a glimmer of hope.
Kulasi struck again as Matt Wittish took a superb catch to remove Robert Sharma (25), but thereafter Saker (34 not out) and Carl Shankland (25no) ensured it would be a celebratory journey back to Sussex, with Worlington also guilty of putting down two routine catches.