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Horsted Keynes wins Seaford tournament 2008

Thursday 7 August 2008, 4.05pm

Grey and overcast skies accompanied by strong southerly winds and occasional sprinklings of rain greeted the 16 teams for the 52nd 8-a-side stoolball tournament for the Sussex County Stoolball Association County Cup at the Salts Recreation Ground, Seaford on Sunday 3 August.

These teams had all finished in the top four of their divisional league championships and, playing on four pitches, were divided into four groups. Each team played the other three in their group to establish section winners who then went forward to the semi-finals. Bowling into the strong offshore wind proved very tough going for all teams but, with the strong wind at their backs, batsmen had a field day lifting sixes almost effortlessly towards the railway line.

At the end of the round robin sections, Angmering (West Division) the County Cup holders, came up against Burwash (East Division) in the first semi-final. Batting first, as they had done all day, Burwash posted a confident score of 71 and were superbly led by Toni Wheatley (the day’s leading run scorer) – 23 of these runs came off the last over and included two perfectly timed sixes.

In reply Angmering found difficulty in piercing a very tight field, particularly in the opening over but, by the fourth over, with wickets falling at regular intervals, found the asking rate just too much and went down by 3 runs.

In the second semi-final, Horsted Keynes (Central Division) found themselves up against Stone Cross (East Division) who had scored an incredible 102 runs from 4 overs in their previous round-robin match. A tough match was in prospect as Stone Cross scored a solid 61 from their four overs. However, Horsted Keynes, who had very close games against Ditchling (64-63) and Ashington (75-73) were improving with every game and successfully passed the Stone Cross score in the final over.

In the final, Burwash again batted first and scored 69 runs, thanks to 39 from Toni Wheatley and 18 from colleague Nicky. Good bowling from both skipper, Debbie Wheatland, and Maureen Scutt was supported by accurate and athletic fielding from the entire Horsted Keynes team.

In reply, Horsted Keynes worked hard through Sally Brown (32) and young Sarah Boyce (25) to reach the final over needing 15 for victory. The tension and emotion when Sharon Scott hit the winning run off the last ball of the match was clear for all to see, and was a just reward for all their efforts.

Celebrations on such a grey and disappointing day weather-wise ended up with most of the Horsted Keynes team swimming in the sea fully clothed! A party followed later in the evening at the Stand Up pub in Lindfield.

Well done Horsted Keynes, you are the 2008 County Cup Champions and congratulations to Burwash for your performances throughout the day and for giving them such a tight game in the final.

Tags: scsa, seaford, tournament