University of Sheffield 1st XI (228/3) beat University of Liverpool 1st XI (176/7) by 52 runs
The 1st XI finished their league season with a comprehensive 52 run win over Liverpool. Captain Chris Murrall made 80 not out to ensure the win that cements their position in League 1A for next season.
Having won the toss for the first time this season, Murrall decided to bat first at Wath Cricket Ground on a day billed as ‘Survival Wednesday,’ with the winner guaranteed to stay up.
Ali Haynes went early to a dubious caught behind decision but Will Aitkenhead and Murrall built well in tricky conditions. Once the shine went off the ball, however, it was easier to score and they added 93 before Aitkenhead was out for 53 caught and bowled.
Mark Williams’ entry to the crease ensured an increase in the run rate and Sheffield had reached 141/2 heading into the last ten overs.
Williams was run out for an excellent 49 but Murrall and Charl Jones (23*) kept the momentum going and got Sheffield up to 228/3 from their allotted overs.
With the ball Sheffield were back to their best and it didn’t take long to make in roads into the Liverpool batting line up. Chris Hooper picked up the first wicket with the score on 40 as he clean bowled opener Breddy for 16.
Liverpool were soon reduced to 92/5 as Williams (2/32) and David Gibson (2/24) both produced excellent spells. Gibson’s control over his off breaks was a joy to behold and he was helped by some excellent work by debutant wicket keeper Josh Rodgers who picked up a stumping with some smart work.
Rodgers then snaffled another stumping off the bowling of Jones as the game was won in the middle overs by the Sheffield side. Liverpool never got back into the game and finished their 40 overs 176/7.
It is the first time that the University have managed to stay in the top division and captain Murrall had this to say after the finish, ‘We knew we had it all to do today and we came out with a really professional performance.
“Everyone took responsibility and we got our processes right. We’ve set a good platform this year to build on next year and hopefully we can challenge at the top.”
Michael Goodfellow was the hero at the Norton Arena as the second XI had a remarkable win over a strong Sunderland side. They restricted the opposition to just 139 with four wickets for leg spinner Rhys Morgan and three each for Steve Wellman and Shaad Silby.
Sheffield were cruising to victory at 88/3 as Alex Griffiths made an excellent 49 but having got to 102/5 they lost four wickets without adding a run.
At 102/9 top order batsman Michael Goodfellow came to the crease having split the webbing in his hand earlier. With his fingers glued back in place, Goodfellow played an incredible innings with one hand to smoke 35 not out and take them over the line.