IF only all cup finals were like this, you would probably see packed houses at junior games all the time.
Little Hulton Under-9s took on Winton in the Bolton Association Cup final.
Spurred on by the vocal support with banners saying ‘Come on LH’ and ‘Come on Little Hulton Under Nines’ and showing the names of all of the players, the visitors batted first but got off to a disappointing start.
Only three balls in, Ben Hamilton was run out after great fielding by Tejas Mohan who pitched it from half-way up the wicket to dismiss the opener.
His partner Ney repaired the damage by rolling his wrists and hitting six to take the visitors to 206.
He added a further six runs before the end of his innings but Hamilton played and missed a shot off the bowling of Scott Oakes and that kept Little Hulton in check at 206 after three overs.
The next pairing of cool customer Oliver Calvert, sporting some stylish shades and Luke Guilfoyle tried to keep Little Hulton going.
But they suffered another setback with Calvert out first ball to impressive bowling by Noah Robinson.
Robinson was using his pace and the length on his deliveries made it look like he was pitching the ball. Good running by Calvert and Guilfoyle saw the scoreboard creep up to 211 by the end of the fifth over and the runs kept coming with Guilfoyle getting nine and Calvert two to take it up to 217 by the half-way stage.
Dylan Wylie and Brayden Bates entered the fray but they were kept quiet by great deliveries by Adam Rothwell which forced Little Hulton into defensive shots.
Then a great decision to introduce skipper Tejas Mohan to bowl paid off as his first ball claimed the wicket of Bates.
The pair recovered to take the score to 222 after nine overs.
Big-hitting Jack Stanley was looking to get quick runs to build a decent total and he started in fine fashion with a four off his first ball.
Stanley showed his experience by rotating the strike with singles to stay in play for the next over and it was 231 after 10.
However, there was little Jacob Jervis at the other end could do as he was out playing the ball back to Adam Rothwell.
Then Jervis was run out soon after and Little Hulton posted 237.
And they got off to the best possible start when Wylie removed Adam Rothwell with a fine delivery.
A flurry of quick wickets followed as Luke Guilfoyle’s ball out-foxed Scott Oakes to leave it 202 after third over.
The electricity generated from the crowd would have been enough to supply Winton throughout the summer. Credit had to go to the players for such entertaining cricket in high-pressure situations.
Ben Hamilton bagged another wicket when David McGlynn was caught and bowled but six off the fifth over took the score to 215.
Tactics started to play their part as Jack Stanley had Winton on the ropes with two wickets with his right arm spin to make it 208.
Hamilton continued to restrict the home side opponents to a couple of runs and they were 218 with three overs left.
The final pairing of Tejas Mohan and Sam Inwood needed just 20 in their final three overs.
Great running by Inwood and Mohan ensured a grandstand finish as they scored 227 heading into the final over.
The excitement on the sidelines made fro a dramatic finale in which impressive bowler Stanley was hit for 11 as Winton claimed victory and the silverware in front of the cheers of delighted families and friends.
All-in-all Winton deserved to take home the trophy just for the superb batting by Inwood and Tejas