The Aberystwyth and District Evening cricket league second half of the season featured its knockout competition with 12 teams in four groups competing to win the Bari Williams Cup.
The top two of each group went into quarter finals to compete for the cup, with the rest competing for the Plate.
Unison beat Aberaeron Taverners by three wickets in the first semi final played at the Geufron on 1 August
Rachels 2 beat Rachels 1 by five wickets in the other semi final, also played a the Geufron, on 3 August.
• Plate Final: The Geufron XI vs Llanidloes, 8 Aug at The Geufron.
The Geufron XI won by 8 wickets
Llanidloes CC 100-5 (20 overs)
The Geufron XI 101-2 (18 overs)
The Plate final saw two sides of predominantly youth players face off. Llanidloes batted first with M. Savage top scoring with 19. The Geufron XI chased down the target with 2 overs to spare, with Dylan Jenkins scoring 30 not out. Llanidloes bowler J. Hogan took 2 wickets. This was a great result for the young team, which included only three adults, with the rest coming from Aberyswyth CC’s junior section.
• Cup Final: Unison vs Rachels 2nds, 10 Aug at The Geufron
Unison won by 4 runs.
Unison Aberystwyth 90 all out (18 overs)
Rachels 2nd XI 86 all (16.5 overs)
Neither of these teams had played in the cup final before, although some of the Rachels 2nd team players were part of the winning Rachels team last year. So the ADECL would see a new cup champion.
Captain Milton John won the toss for Rachels and decided to field first, with a strong bowling attack, looking to take an early advantage, and they did not have to wait long.
Tino Tomy and Nick Cook were bowling very tightly and the scoring rate was quite restricted. Tino was rewarded for his accuracy when Mo Aslam, who was looking to accelerate, was bowled for 7, and then shortly after James Harvey was also bowled for 1.
Opener Bill Somerfield was batting carefully, but taking advantage of every scoring opportunity and progressing Unison’s total. He was joined by Guy Baron and the pair put together the best partnership of the innings. Then Joel Abraham entered the attack and found Bill’s top edge from an attempted pull, and the ball looped up to offer keeper Jestus Jerry a comfortable catch, with Bill having top scored for his team with 23.
Joel and Phillip Abraham, bowling in partnership, then continued to pick off Unison’s batters. First Alex Bellenie bowled for 1 by Joel, then Guy bowled by Joel for 19. Captain Omair Syed joined his brother Sohaib Syed, with hopes of another match winning partnership dashed when bowled by Joel without scoring.
With the total on only 63-6, it was left to the lower order to try and build to something defendable. Austin Thomas went on the attack and hit the only six of the match, but then Sohaib, hero of the semi-final, fell to Phillip, bowled for 7. Austin and Graeme Lane put on another 10 runs before Austin skied another aggressive shot to be caught at extra cover by Phillip to give Joel his fifth wicket.
The last two pairs managed to accumulate some more valuable runs. When Graeme was bowled by Phillip for 7, it was left to youngsters Ollie Somerfield and Josh Lane to eke out what they could until the innings was terminated two overs early when Milton bowled Ollie for 2, with Josh not out on 2 and the team total on 90.
The bowling and fielding were excellent throughout the innings. Best bowling figures for Joel Abraham with his 5 for 26 off 4 overs. Phil Abraham’s 2 wickets came at 19 runs off his 3 overs and Tino Tomy’s for 20 runs off 4. The most economical were Zaid Kahn, with 6 runs off 2 overs, and Nick Cook, with 15 off 4.
Buoyed by their performance in the field, and with a line-up including many strong batters, Rachels were clearly confident in their chances of chasing the low target. But Unison, with their strong bowling attack and stoutness of resolve were undeterred and set about the defence with full focus. They remained focussed and undeterred, despite a rapid start to the innings, with Jestus Jerry in particular on the attack.
The first key turning point was a mix up in the running, with Nick Allen keen for a single, but sent back to the bowler’s end, and the cool head and accurate throw of Bill Somerfield led to him being run out for 7, Nick having looked solid until then. Shortly after, Omair held an important catch at deep gully to have Jestus out for 21 (off only 12 balls), a fair reward for Alex Bellenie for some probing bowling. With the total on 29-2, Nick Cook and Arjun Ram looked to consolidate. Omair then had Arjun trapped LBW for 5. Phillip Abraham came in and hit some lusty blows for his 10 before was also adjudged LBW from Omair’s bowling. Guy Baron made the next breakthrough when Alex caught a looped, spinning ball at cover to have Nick Cook out for 8.
With the total on 60-5, Rachels looked to their strong late-middle order to power them home. Joel set about the task carefully, but Zaid backed himself to hit boundaries, and was initially successful. Then, enter Mo Aslam into the attack! Attempting to smash the ball over deep midwicket, Zaid missed a full, straight ball and was bowled for 6 to give Mo his first wicket. Tino tried the very same two balls later and met the same end.
Milton joined Joel in the middle with 21 runs still required, but plenty of overs remaining, and with cool heads and measured strokes, looked to complete their task. This they looked favourites to achieve, but Unison never let their belief fade, and in the fading light, they knew it would be tricky even for the most experienced batters.
Then came the 17th over, to be bowled by Mo Aslam, as the first few drops of rain fell. With Rachels needing just 6 to win, a bye put Joel on strike, who blocked the next ball. Continuing to bowl at a good pace, full and straight, as the captain watched helplessly at the other end, first Joel, then Mohit Tamak, then Appus Rajan, all bowled in successive balls, to give Mo a hat-trick and his team victory.
Again, all the bowling and fielding was excellent. Two wickets for Omair Syed (for 23 off 4), and one each for Alex Bellenie (for 28 off 4) and Guy Baron (for 15 off 4), but the clear stand-out performance, and undisputable player-of-the-match, was Mo Aslam’s 5 wickets for 8 runs off 2.5 overs!
Unison likely did not notice the steadily heavier rain as they celebrated in disbelief. The teams left the field and Nigel Salmon presented the Unison team with the Bari Williams Cup, who is remembered fondly for his long-time commitment to cricket in the area, most specifically for Tregaron CC.