Dinton Cricket Club eased into the regional final of the National Village Cup with a dominant 83-run victory over Bledlow Village on Sunday, completing an excellent weekend for the first team.
Dinton were also in league action when they earned a five-wicket victory over Amersham in an entertaining and high-scoring encounter in Division Two of the Home Counties Premier League on Saturday.
Winning the toss and batting, Amersham started steadily with 17-year-old opening batsman Ed Bowcock (68) providing the backbone for the innings.
At 63-1 after 15 overs, the platform had been set on a flat wicket, however a double strike from Dinton’s own 17-year-old Ollie Woodward (2-40), who was on debut, put the brakes on Amersham’s charge.
Bowcock and Sri Lankan overseas Maduka (45) then put together a 96-run stand to once again swing the momentum into the visitors hands before some excellent late bowling restricted the visitors to 235-7.
The home side’s run chase started smoothly thanks to a 64-opening stand between Australian Brian Sanders (97no) and Henry Woodward (19) and although they lost five wickets, Dinton were always in control as Nheem Amin (53) provided strong support for Sanders.
The Amersham total overhauled with a meaty blow from Mark Ludlow with seven balls remaining.
Dinton captain Alister Gibbins was delighted with the result, saying: “We had a different line-up today compared to the last few weeks for various reasons and playing a tricky side in Amersham it was very good that when asked, the important players stood up for us.
“We had two teenage first gamers, a guy playing his first game after a month out and we had an injured batsman during the warm up who couldn’t bat, so I am very positive about the immediate future of the club.”
Dinton then turned their attention to the regional semi-final of the National Village Cup, a competition which culminates in a showpiece final at Lord’s.
Despite being put into bat by Bledlow, Dinton made a strong start with a 92-run partnership between Ash Smith and Henry Woodward (48).
Smith marked his return to form with some lovely strokes both sides of the wicket, finally departing for a well made 81, before big hitting from Alan Massey (58) and then some inventive strokeplay from the lower order saw Dinton finish on an imposing 253-9.
In reply, early wickets kept Dinton firmly on top as Bledlow struggled to get anywhere near the target. Tim Brooker was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for just eight runs and Lawrence Snooks made a promising first team debut with the ball, picking up two wickets as Bledlow crumbled to 170 all out.
Dinton will now play the winners of Great Brickhill versus Kimble in the regional final but, before that, they travel to Shipton this weekend looking to consolidate their position in the top two of Division Two in the HCPL.