Flixton battle back to seal National Village Cup success

Will Hutchinson bats for Flixton in their Cricketer National Village Cup final at Lord's. Picture by Will Palmer.
Will Hutchinson bats for Flixton in their Cricketer National Village Cup final at Lord's. Picture by Will Palmer.

Flixton recovered from a shaky start to beat Liphook & Ripsley at Lord's to lift the Cricketer National Village Cup.

Skipper Will Norman lost the toss and was asked to bat first for the first time in the competition and his side got away to a poor start.

Rich Malthouse squeezed a four away in the first over to set Flixton on their way, before Stuart Stocks had a lucky escape in the second, almost chopping on to Liphook skipper Charles Janczur.

Suman Ganguly bowled with decent accuracy and pace early doors, with Stocks in particular struggling to get him away.

It was the Liphook skipper Janczur who grabbed the first breakthrough for the Hampshire side, comprehensively bowling Stocks for one with the score on 10.

Janczur then struck again, this time sending Malthouse's off-stump cartwheeling on eight to leave Flixton on 19-2 and struggling early doors.

Will Hutchinson is bowled for 48 in Flixton's Cricketer National Village Cup final at Lord's. Picture by Will Palmer.

Will Hutchinson is bowled for 48 in Flixton's Cricketer National Village Cup final at Lord's. Picture by Will Palmer.

Youngster Will Hutchinson, 17, and Tom Norman rebuilt the Flixton innings, but Norman fell when he chipped a George Neave delivery tamely up to Robert Nicklin at mid-on on 19 with the score on 57.

Skipper Will Norman replaced his brother Tom at the crease, but he soon departed to a piece of stunning fielding, Ganguly holding onto a rapid chance diving away to his right at gully to dismiss the Flixton skipper for just two with the Scarborough side in trouble on 59-4 and Liphook's tails now up.

Matthew Nesfield joined Hutchinson, but the Flixton pair struggled to get the run-rate up drastically, with the York Senior League Premier Division outfit on 62-4 at the halfway stage.

Again, Flixton steadily went about rebuilding their faltering innings, Hutchinson and Matthew Nesfield working the ball around and taking the score past the 100 mark.

Hutchinson fell agonisingly short of a memorable half-century when his stumps were rearranged by the pacy Neave on 48, Flixton had moved onto 144-5 and recovering nicely.

Matthew Nesfield moved to his half-century from 64 deliveries, helping his side past the 150-mark and towards a respectable total before he was cleaned up by the returning Ganguly for 60.

Connor Stephenson came and went for two, trapped lbw trying to heave to the leg-side boundary, but Flixton rallied as Harry Walmsley smashed 35 from 17 balls, falling lbw in the final over to Ganguly, the Scarborough side's innings finishing on 198-8.

Liphook moved away to a steady start, but Stephenson induced an edge off danger man Covey's outside edge and Marley Ward did the rest behind the stumps with the score on 17.

Sixteen-year-old Jake Hatton then grabbed a second wicket to stem the Liphook flow, Robert Nicklin top-edging to Richard Malthouse at gully.

Controversy followed, with Ward appealing for the stumping of Harry Munt, the umpire appearing to signal out, but going on to change his mind.

He had to go shortly after though as Stephenson had him trapped in front LBW for 19.

Stephenson then had George Neave out first ball, Hutchinson clinging on to another top-edge at extra cover with Liphook teetering on 55-4.

Slow bowler Tom Norman claimed the crucial wicket of Ganguly, quickly dismissing Jonny Pryce without scoring to put Flixton in command.

Grant Rouse and Richard Williams steadied the Liphook ship, but they were soon sailing in choppy waters again on 99-7 when Norman had Grant Rouse caught at gully by Malthouse.

The Liphook effort ran ashore shortly after, Richard Williams trapped lbw to Malthouse for two from 25 balls, Liphook now on 99-8.

Walmsley came into the attack and removed the stubborn Burton for four, before he snaffled the final wicket, Liphook finishing on 126 all out, sparking wild celebrations on the pitch and in the crowd.

REACTION TO FOLLOW .... And don't miss Thursday's Scarborough News for comprehensive coverage of Flixton's historic victory.