Cup Final Day looms
Valkyres and Cronkbourne are set for the Standard Bank Tinker Cup Final on Sunday. The two Douglas sides will battle it out at Tromode with a 1pm start.
Cronkbourne have won the trophy more times than any other club. They have taken the cup on no fewer than fifteen occasions, six times more than Ramsey.
The number of successes for Valkyres is only three, but the club is in tremendous form. In addition to the Tinker, they also are joint leaders of the Premiership and their B team is in the final of the Blincoe Cup.
The revival of their fortunes after last year’s failings is quite remarkable. Team spirit is outstanding and the side contains several potential match winners.
Amongst the batsmen Cronkbourne must contain are Tom Reader, Shahzeb Raja and Jas Singh. Opener Rob Weight is also key in anchoring the innings, as shown in his 60 against Crosby last week.
Zubair Siddiqi has led the side well and is a dangerous strike bowler. It would also be foolish to ignore Andy Coulson. On the Tromode grass track, his spin could be a match winner.
Against this, a young Cronkbourne team has much to offer. Max and Alex Stokoe clearly pose a threat with the bowling of Alex particularly potent. He has taken over twenty wickets this season at an average of less than eight.
Carl Wagstaffe is amongst the runs, but the middle-order can be suspect. In the probable heavy conditions, the match is likely to be low scoring with the bowlers dominating.
In that case, it will be interesting to see if Cronkbourne call on the services of veteran Phil Richardson. His steady seamers could be ideal on what is likely to be a soft track.
One problem Cronkbourne could have is lack of match play. They have been badly hit by the weather with no fewer than five recent matches rained off. Despite all their training and net practices, time out in the middle is vital.
Tinker Cup Final Day usually attracts a lively audience of supporters and neutrals. Sunday should be no different, particularly with no obvious favourite to lift the trophy.
On Saturday the action is in the Standard Bank Cain League. Leaders Ramsey are at home to Cronkbourne and will be looking to build on their impressive wins against Peel and Valkyres. News from the north is that Marc Pons-Burt could be side-lined with a shoulder injury.
Peel are at home against a Crosby side, vibrant from last week’s stunning Premiership victory. Phil Littlejohns and skipper Russell Miller are expected to return for the western club.
At Tromode Valkyres warm up for that Tinker Final with a fixture against Castletown. It’s early days, but the Town have yet to lose a match in the Cain while their opponents have yet to win one
Standard Bank Cain League
Cronkbourne v Castletown : Match abandoned (rain) – one point to each side.
Standard Bank Forrester Division Two
Ronaldsway v Castletown B : Match abandoned (rain) – one point to each side.
Standard Bank Forrester Division Three
Finch Hill B 47 (David Forrest 10, Rob Lawson 6 : John Forrest 2 -4, George Burrows 2 -5, Peter Foxton 2 -5); Finch Hill A 51 for 2 (Matt Ogden 20no, Scott McVey 11no : Matthew Quayle 1 -10, Harry Wilson 1 -19). Finch Hill A won by eight wickets.
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