Warwickshire 190 all out (26.2 overs, L Sugg 84, J Aughton 3-65, R Crisp 2-12), Somerset 196/9 (27 overs M Church 52, E Hossell 41, L Sugg 2-22, J Hollingsworth 2-36, M Turnham 2-48)
Somerset win by 1 wicket
Somerset VICC reached the final of the British Blind Sport Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup after a thrilling one wicket win over Warwickshire at Ilton Cricket Club, in a contest which could have gone either way up until the final delivery of the match. Warwickshire, the reigning champions and treble winners of last season, could only muster seven players for the trip to the southwest, but the seven were fantastic as they never gave up and almost forced the win, after Somerset suffered a late collapse after looking well set.
The visitors lost the toss and were asked to bat first, and got off to a solid if unspectacular start, before Jason Aughton came into the attack in the fifth over. Justin Hollingsworth, who hit an unbeaten 212 in the quarter finals, dispatched his first two balls from Aughton into the leg side for a six and a four, before he was brilliantly caught by Rob Crisp running in from cover, on the second attempt, with Hollingsworth falling for seventeen. Mark Turnham and new man Gerald Porter consolidated, benefitting from a nightmare over for Phil Frounks which went for thirty, before Aughton got his second wicket, with Turnham looping the ball up to Ed Hossell at short midwicket. Warwickshire skipper Luke Sugg arrived at the crease and looked in good touch, hitting Aughton for some early boundaries, before two quick wickets from Crisp just before drinks gave Somerset the impetus, bowling Porter for 17 and Hassan Ali for 1.
With his team four wickets down so only having two wickets to play with, skipper Sugg struck out, particularly punishing Aughton with an array of pulls and hooks, passing his half century before Chris Lanwarne was caught in close by Ed Hossell from the bowling of his younger brother Rory. Sugg continued his onslaught and new man Asif Ali hit two boundaries, before in the 27th over Sugg skied a catch to Crisp from the bowling of Aughton, who finished up with 3-65, to end a fine innings from Sugg, who scored 84 from just 65 balls, hitting eight fours and three sixes, as Warwickshire were all out for 190.
Due to Warwickshire only having one totally blind player, nine overs out of the thirty required to be bowled by totally blind bowlers and each bowler limited to six overs, Warwickshire would be penalised by 45 runs, to be added onto Somerset’s total, should Somerset still be batting by the end of the 27th over. With Somerset effectively needing to be on 146 and have at least a wicket remaining by the end of 27 overs, it was set up for an intriguing chase.
Warwickshire immediately took a commanding position, with Rory Hossell being bowled by a great delivery from Luke Sugg against the first ball he faced, before Aughton was beaten for pace and bowled by Asif Ali in the second over. Soon after, Rob Crisp spooned an easy caught and bowled back to Justin Hollingsworth and Somerset were reeling, before Mike Church and Ed Hossell began the rebuilding process.
Hossell continued his fine run of form this season with a fluent 41, but it was the innings of Church which stole the attention with a series of lusty blows down the ground combined with some powerful reverse sweeps. Despite being dropped twice in the forties, he rode his luck and reached a fine fifty. Sugg then caught both batsmen out, Hossell off his own bowling and Church from the bowling of Hassan Ali for 52, bringing Warwickshire right back into the game with two new batsmen at the crease. Graham Glover hit a lovely boundary before he fell lbw for 9 to the bowling of Mark Turnham, who had Dave Wood caught by Porter, in between Mikey Contreras being run out by a fine piece of fielding from Hollingsworth.
Somerset had two wickets remaining and were still fifteen runs short of the 146 they needed for victory. Alan Mabey almost got them towards the target before he was caught and bowled by Hollingsworth for 7, with Somerset on 145, needing to score one run and survive seven balls for victory. It fell to Mark Turnham to bowl the final over after Dave Ridgway had survived the final ball of the previous over, and with the second ball of the over he bowled a wide to push Somerset over the line, assuming Phil Frounks could keep out the final deliveries. Several more wides and no balls followed as the tension mounted, but the final delivery passed down the leg side with no incident and Somerset secured a trip to Canterbury to play Sussex in their first cup final.