Little Lever shatter Rupert’s double hopes in final thriller

Little Lever Xl, above, celebrate winning the Chadwick Cup.

Lostock Roofing Ladies with the Horwich Shield

First published in Sport

Little Lever XI denied Rupert Ladies the double when they overcame the odds to lift the Chadwick Cup.

The Section A champions were strong favourites after winning all 18 league games this season, including the double over runners-up Little Lever. But the village side clinched cup glory with a narrow 120-113 victory in a thrilling final.

The game was in the balance from start to finish, with Little Lever overturning a first-innings deficit.

They were eight points behind at the halfway stage, but tight fielding and composed batting saw them home.

A large crowd at Heaton Cricket Club saw Rupert start promisingly with the first seven batters scoring 11 points between them.

But, thanks to strong bowling, the next four batters were out first bat, and the remaining batters scored eight points on their second bat, only four of them managing to stay in any longer.

Little Lever fielded tightly, restricting Rupert to a score of 55, with top scorer Kerry Anderton amassing a respectable 18.

Little Lever started their first innings magnificently, with 19, aided by a rounder off Sam Waldron, and the loss of only two batters.

However, they could not continue that pace as Anne Truffas bowled five batters out on their second bat, and the remaining batters scored an additional 11 points.

Third bat saw three more batters dismissed, leaving just Maria Gregory, Zoe Bluer and Angela Peak to battle with a formidable fielding side.

Between them they scored 13, giving an innings total of 47, just eight behind Rupert.

Rupert’s second batting innings started well, with a score of 14, and, more crucially, all batters safe for a second bat.

However, tight fielding from Little Lever resulted in the dismissal of six batters and a further score of eight points after the second bat.

The four remaining batters clearly had a lot to do, and the final score just about topped their first innings thanks to Mandy Makin (14) and Truffas (19), giving Rupert a match total of 113 points.

Little Lever’s innings started with a rounder off Julie Bluer, and, following in the footsteps of Rupert’s second innings, no batter was out on their first bat as Little Lever scored a 22.

Only one batter was dismissed on the second bat and they steadily approached their target.

Thirteen points scored second time round left Little Lever requiring only 29 to win.

Three rounders were scored by Zoe Bluer, Jenny Burrows and Abbie Mort, which, totalled with the remaining batters’ scores, left Little Lever with eight batters chasing eight points.

Rupert dismissed five of the remaining batters for no additional score, before Little Lever got the required runs.

Lostock Roofing Ladies won the Horwich Shield at the second attempt with a 109-103 victory over Anderton XI.

The teams drew at the first attempt in July, and, at the end of a tight game, Anderton were denied victory when Lostock’s last batter, Louise Boardman, scored two rounders and a three to clinch victory.

The only previously drawn cup final came in 1980 when Bradford Ladies and Egerton CC A met in the Dixon Shield final when the teams agreed to share the trophy.

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