Pocket-sized run gun George Marshall struck a magnificent 142 as Hambledon squeezed a thrilling two-run win out of their high scoring Davidstow Village Cup county final against Tichborne Park. The little left-hander underpinned Hambledon’s competitive 248-7 in 40 overs – a total which proved only just enough as Tichborne finished only two runs behind at 246-9 after a frantic run chase.
Marshall struck two sixes and 11 fours in his 142, dominating a half-century opening stand with Will Bond and putting on 71 with his younger brother James (32) as Hambledon eased to 129-2. He was eventually seventh man out, having added useful runs with Paul Vickers, Henry Glanfield and Lewis Le Clerq.
“George's hundred was superb in fairly tricky (damp) batting conditions,” praised his skipper Will Bond.
Tichborne’s blistering start quickly ended any complacency that may have crept into the Hambledon camp. Long handle tactics saw George Ayling smack a six and eight fours in scoring 45 off 31 balls. Ed Primmer (52) shared a 69-run start with Ayling and when he and Tom Allam (59) took Tichborne’s reply to 169-2, there were some anxious glances at the 100-year old revolving wooden scoreboard.
“But George Harding bowled really well in the middle overs and was backed up well by Owain Chapman,” Bond added. Nonetheless, Martin Cheyney (42) kept the pot boiling but he was out at 233-6.
The 40-over a side county final reached its climax with Tichborne 243-7 and needing six runs to win off Prad Bains’ final over. The lanky Hambledon bowler promptly took two wickets and left Tichborne high and dry 246-9.
“He bowled that last over under pressure fantastically well,” Bond smiled.
Hambledon’s reward is a home tie with past Lord’s winners Shipton-Under-Wychwood, who crushed Oxford Downs by seven wickets in their county play-off.
Two other local clubs play their Village Cup county final this Sunday, Parley at home to Goatacre and Rowledge at Frensham.