Peterborough Town suffered a bowl out defeat to Finedon as Northants Twenty/20 Finals Day descended into farce at the Northampton County Ground (July 23).
A delayed start after heavy overnight rain was understandable as was an interruption caused by more rain halfway through Town’s semi-final with Rushton.
But to conduct three bowl outs after a mere 35-minute downpour in bright sunshine seemed ludicrous to those who had waited patiently to play and to spectate.
The groundstaff apparently advised the square was unfit for play and the umpires agreed even though there was plenty of time left to play some sort of meaningful contest. The assumed excitement of playing at a first-class venue should no longer be the determining factor when deciding future venues for what should have been a special day.
Just to add a bigger element of farce, competition organisers decided Final Day would be re-staged later in the summer. The bowl outs were conducted to decide who would represent Northamptonshire in the first National T20 round next Sunday (July 30)!
This should have been a great advert for the Northants League. The best four teams in the competition had batteld thir way through a handful of Tuesday evening games to reach Finals Day.
Finedon, who at least had the consolation of success, and Old Northamptonians didn’t even set foot on the field and have a bat.
They might not have enjoyed it as a green track awaited. The only proper action saw Rushton reach 75-5 in 10 overs against Town (the game had been halved before the start) with the city side 5-1 from one over in reply when the rain fell.
Andy Reynoldson carted 21 from one Daniel Oldham over to rescue Rushton from a slow start to what might well have been a winning score.
But Town won the bowl out semi-final against Rushton 4-3 thanks to a double strike from Lewis Bruce and one each from Joe Dawborn and captain David Clarke.
But Dawborn and Clarke were the only Town men to succeed in the bowl out final which was won by Finedon 5-2.
B. Mansell c Clarke b Dawborn 0
A. Reynoldson run out 40
J. Parker c Bruce b Danyaal 5
B. Coddington lbw Bruce 10
J. Higginbotham st Milner b Parnell 7
M. Steed not out 2
G.Parker not out 3
TOTAL (5 wkts) 75
Bowling: J. Dawborn 2-0-5-1: J. Smith 2-0-11-0, M. Danyaal 2-0-10-1; L. Bruce 2-0-16-1; D. Oldham 1-0-21-0; C. Parnell 1-0-5-1.
A. Butt not out 1
A. Mitchell lbw G. Parker 4
D. Clarke not out 0
TOTAL (1 wkt) 5
Bowling: G. Parker 1-0-5-1.