Warton loosened Shrieshead’s grip on the Hackney and Leigh Trophy at the weekend thanks to a last ball win in an exciting final at Cartmel.
Having won the trophy for the last three seasons Shireshead were aiming for a fourth consecutive title and began well as Tom Jacques (65) and Phil Bovis (48) added 88 for the second wicket.
Both batsmen mixed steady accumulation with the ability to punish the bad ball and provided a superb platform of 123 for 1 with eight overs of their allotted 35 still remaining.
However, Shireshead’s attempts to make the most of the situation unravelled quickly as a series of middle-order batsmen departed with single figure scores against their name. Steven Beck’s (4 for 40) intelligent death bowling ensured Shireshead were bowled out for 154, probably 20 to 25 runs short of where they should have been.
Warton’s reply began poorly as Dave Jack (3 for 12) took a wicket in each of his first two overs to reduce the score to 10 for 2, and after 10 overs had been completed the score had still only reached 19 for 2.
Jeff Winder (61) however gave the innings momentum as he targeted the Shireshead slow bowlers to good effect with his slog sweep, but when Jack returned to bowl Winder and Phil Oliver dismissed Tom Barnfield (32) the game hung in the balance with 41 required from 36 balls.
Graeme Cassidy went cheaply but Ricky Nelson (29) kept Warton in the game alongside Graeme Crowther who crucially was afforded two chances by the Shireshead fielders in the penultimate over.
The last over was to be bowled by Oliver and began with Warton requiring 11 to tie and thereby win by virtue of losing less wickets.
After three singles Nelson was caught smartly by Danny Wilkinson off the fourth ball which left eight more runs required from the last two deliveries.
Crowther lifted the next ball over long off for six, and although Oliver beat the bat with the final ball it inexplicably trickled away for four byes to give Warton victory by three wickets after a superb game of cricket.