A large contingency of Ormskirk supporters travelled south to Wolverhampton in the hope of seeing their Club reach the Final of the National Club Championship for the first time in its history. They were not disappointed.
Wolverhampton won the toss and elected to bat in the hope of leaving their visitors with a large total to chase down. As the innings unfolded it became apparent that their best intentions were to be denied.
Scott Lees and Nicky Caunce opened the bowling and enjoyed immediate success. With only 5 runs on the board (all extras) Scott won an lbw decision and just 4 runs later, Nicky, not to be outdone, dismissed the second opener in an identical fashion. With the score on 9-2 with both openers dismissed for ducks it was a nightmare come to reality for Wolverhampton and a dream coming true for Ormskirk.
The score crept up to 23 when Scott struck again. With the help of a superb catch by Ian Robinson off his bowling the third wicket fell. Another fine catch by Matt Glayzer helped Scott to claim his third wicket to leave Wolverhampton shell shocked with the score at 32-4.
A change of bowling brought no respite for the batsmen. Tom Hartley came on to replace Scott and Jamie Barnes to replace Nicky. Tom had immediate success when he tempted the batsman to leave his ground, completely fooled him and Gary Knight had the bails off in a flash. It was now 41-5.
At the other end Jamie, in one of the best spells he has ever enjoyed at such a high level and on such a big stage took four quick wickets. During his spell of 9 overs the score went from 45-5 to 69-9 and he only conceded 12 of those 24 runs.
A mini revival ensued but it was only mini. Scott was brought back in to the fray and dismissed the final batsman to take his fourth wicket and leave Wolverhampton all out for 82. It was better than dreamland, it was heaven!
Andy Baybutt and Michael Jones opened the reply and took the score patiently to 43 when Michael (14) was caught behind. He had done an excellent job in seeing off the opening pace attack and, with Andy, had laid a very firm foundation from which to the take the game.
Ian Robinson (1) joined Andy but lost his wicket to a fine delivery which would have left anybody struggling.
The final partnership of 42 between Andy (38*) and George Lavelle (22*) took the score past the winning line. Andy had played a starring role in carrying his bat through the innings and George handled the pressure like a seasoned professional.
Everybody played their parts in this historic victory but pride of place goes to Jamie Barnes for his remarkable bowling figures of 9 overs 6 maidens 4 wickets for 12 runs.
By any standards this will go down as one of the finest days in Ormskirk CC history. To have reached the final of the National Club Championship is a wonderful achievement.
The final will be played against Wanstead & Snaresbrook on Sunday 17th September at Essex CC. What an end of season treat to look forward to.