By John Rookwood
COMMONERS gained the cricket bragging rights against Minchinhampton.
The four teams competing for the prestigious Commoners 8s trophy were Malmesbury Chukkas, Minchinhampton, Nympsfield, and the Commoners.
The format involves teams of eight players. Six bowlers each bowl one eight-ball over. With the exception of the final, a batting order for each successive game follows on with those due to bat next from the stated line-up from the previous game.
After each team has played against all three opponents the two best performing sides meet in the final.
The start of the round-robin stage of the competition saw wins for Minchinhampton against Chukkas, and Commoners over Nympsfield.
In the second round of matches, Minchinhampton and Commoners were again successful, this time against Nympsfield and Chukkas respectively.
This effectively made the last round of games somewhat academic as Minchinhampton and Commoners had already qualified to meet in the final by this stage. T
here was however some psychological advantage to be gained in advance of the final.
Commoners batted first, scoring what seemed a slightly below par 77 for four, but with a magnificent fielding effort they were able to restrict Minchinhampton to a score of 55 for six. In the third/fourth place decider, Chukkas defeated Nympsfield.
The final saw Minchinhampton bat first, and aided by an excellent 48 by Alex Waring, reached a very competitive total of 89 for one - and this after a rather slow start, with only nine runs on the board after two overs.
In reply, Commoners were initially well off the pace having scored only 31 after three overs.
However, what followed was extraordinary. Another superb innings of 54 by Alfie Godden (he had already scored 62 and 37 not out in his two other knocks) and a swashbuckling 29 not out from Kieron Colvin saw Commoners reach their target of 90 with two wickets down off the second ball of the final over.
At the presentation, Timmy Godden congratulated all four teams on their contribution to a wonderful day, and thanked the umpires and scorers, plus Don Luke and Dean Evans who prepared the pitches, for their vital role in proceedings.
The awards for outstanding performances throughout the tournament went to Alfie Godden for both batting (153 runs) and fielding ( one catch and three stumpings), and to Matt Richings of Minchinhampton for bowling (five for 25) just ahead of Ben Fearnley of Commoners (three for 24).