CUP JOY: The Barney team celebrate winning the Kerridge Cup
CUP JOY: The Barney team celebrate winning the Kerridge Cup

BARNARD Castle CC won the Kerridge Cup on Sunday for the third time in six years. In the 99th final of the oldest knockout club cricket tournament in the world, Barney defeated Stokesley by six wickets with 31 balls of their 40 overs in hand.

Having never come close to reaching any of the first 92 finals, Barney have now joined 14 other clubs in winning it three or more times. In an entertaining match at Hartlepool, they made deceptively light work of a potentially daunting target of 219.

“I’m delighted for the lads,” said captain James Quinn.

“This was a thoroughly good all-round performance in a significant final.

“In some ways this has been an up and down season but to win the Kerridge Cup again shows that the team can still compete with the very best clubs in the NYSD league.”

The club’s hugely popular overseas amateur, Giles Creedon, who is in his second and last season, was player of the match for his delightful innings of 73. But there were plenty of others who contributed to a well-crafted victory.

Wicketkeeper Pat Roberts claimed seven victims (five catches and two stumpings) in a masterly display which constantly impressed Geoff Cook, Durham’s legendary former coach who presented the trophy.

Hashan Dumindu scored an elegant 66 and shared a crucial second wicket partnership of 109 with Creedon.

The only two players to have appeared in all three of Barney’s Kerridge finals, James Quinn and Rob Dixon, were also key performers.

Dixon bowled a beautifully controlled spell of seam and swing, taking 3-24 in his eight overs, while captain Quinn was decisive at the end of both innings, first ensuring that Stokesley’s total was stemmed with 4-17 in 3.5 overs and then guiding his side home with a nerveless unbeaten 41.

Seventeen-year-old Finn Usher showed that the future is in calm hands with another measured spell of off spin.

Stokesley were determined opponents and though Barney were in control for long periods, especially towards the end, they were not allowed to have it all their own way.

Having decided to bowl, Barney had a dream start when left arm seamer, Tom Merryweather, removed the openers, both caught behind, one down the off side and one down leg, with only five on the board. Barney had their tails up and might have had a couple more wickets but Stokesley, assisted by some dropped catches, responded with attacking stroke play.

They never stopped doing so throughout the innings even with wickets falling at regular intervals.

At 107-6 when the dangerous Durham county player James Weighell was bowled by a beauty from Dixon, it looked as though Barney might have a target which was much less than formidable.

But Stokesley’s other pro, Shingi Masakadza bludgeoned a quick 50 and found determined support from Tom Preece and Sam Wilson.

Barney’s chase was a model. Although Mike Dixon went early, Creedon and Dumindu assembled a perfectly tailored partnership, rotating the strike and hitting regular boundaries. When Creedon went, caught behind, Quinn came on and ensured order was retained.

Although Dunindu was disappointingly caught on the boundary and Richard Borrowdale then fell to a spectacular catch the end was then clearly in sight and Barney’s name ready to be engraved once more on the historic trophy.

Stokesley

S Gaudie c Roberts b Merryweather 1, A Weighell c Roberts b Merryweather 1, Jonny Weighell c Roberts b Creedon 28, R Foreman st Roberts b Creedon 16, James Weighell b Dixon 34, S Newell c Roberts b Dixon 10, S Masakadza c Dixon b Quinn 50, T Preece c Roberts 29, S Wilson st Roberts b Quinn 32, R Atkinson c Dumindu b Quinn 6, R Chandler not out 0, Extras 11, Total (39.4 overs) 218 all out

Bowling: J Bousfield 8-0-52-0, T Merryweather 7-0-53-2, G Creedon 2-0-15-1 R Dixon 8-2-24-3, F Usher 8-0-33-0, R Watson 3-0-23-0, J Quinn 3.4-0-17-4

Barney

G Creedon c Newell b Wilson 73, M Dixon lbw Masakadza 4, H Dumindu c Atkinson b Masakadza 66, J Quinn not out 41, R Borrowadale c Preece b Chandler 5, P Roberts not out 7, Extras 23, Total (34.5 overs) 219-4

Bowling: R Atkinson 4-0-30-0, S Masakadza 7-1-45-2, R Chandler 8-0-43-1, A Weighell 5-0-29-0, S Wilson 6-1-34-1, T Preece 4.5-0-35-0

Barney won by 6 wickets