Essex lose in national final

ESSEX failed in their bid to be crowned this season’s Spitfire National Over-60s champions as they lost to Cheshire by 24 runs in the final at Oakham CC.

After Kevan Anderson took a wicket in Wednesday’s final without a run on the board, Nick Sharp (65) and Alan Hitchmough (64) put on 114 for the second wicket as Cheshire totalled 253 for five off their allotted 45 overs. Anderson was the most successful bowler with two for 33 from his nine overs.

After John Stuck was bowled for a duck and Rober Newman was run out, Malcolm Wright and Mark Surridge compiled a second-wicket stand of 115 before Surridge was run out for 41 in bizaare circumstances.

The Halstead all-rounder had called for a runner and Newman, as one of only two batsman already dismissed took on the role, but he was caught out of his ground as Cheshire appealed for a stumping against Surridge. It meant that Newman achieved the unenviable record of being run out twice in the same innings!

Although Wright went on to score 104 the Essex reply fell away as the run rate climbed to eight an over and they closed on 229 for eight.

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Player-manager Stuck said: “It was disappointing to lose as we dropped vital catches in the field and Cheshire scored 30 runs too many.

“Although they are a good side we were not overawed by them and we felt we were good enough to win it.

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“They had lost to Yorkshire, who we comfortably beat in the semi-finals, and so finished second in their group,” added Stuck.

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