Having put Abbotskerswell to the sword, Bradninch then took on hosts Barton in what was effectively a ‘winner takes all’ contest.
Barton skipper Matt Parker won the toss, but once again some clever and continual switching of bowlers kept the score rate down and the wickets tumbling! Two balls from the halfway stage, Barton were 40-3 and, while they managed a few more runs over the next 10.2 overs, they were bowled out in the 20 overs for a total of 94.
Justin Saker top scored with 26 from 36 deliveries and the best of the supporting knocks was the 10 from both Sean Needham and Chris Needham.
For Bradninch, the bowling honours went to skipper Chappell with three wickets from his four overs that cost 26 runs. Ankit Badwal and Eliot Acton each bagged a brace with the Badwal figures being 2-7 from his one over while Acton’s return was 2-14 from three. Aryan Raigangar (1-17 from four) and Dan Hardy (1-11 from four) were the other successful bowlers while there was also a run out initiated by a Badwal throw.
Mitchell Pugh and Rory Thomas got the run chase off to an explosive start with Thomas falling to the final delivery of the second over, caught having hit 18 from just seven balls, rifling a six and two fours. Thom Bunker fell to a second ball duck and, when Will Squire (nine from 23 balls) fell to the final delivery of the 11th over, Bradninch were 55-4. One over and four runs later, talisman Gary Chapell was adjudged leg before, the previous days centurion dismissed for one from four deliveries and that the Ninch run chase wobbling on 59-5 with eight overs remaining to find another 35 runs with five wickets to play with.
Dan Hardy joined wicket keeper Darren Paul and the pair made good progress. Eighteen were required from the last 24 balls of the contest.
Dan Hardy put bat to ball in the 17th over, scoring back-to-back fours as a dozen runs came from that over to put ‘Ninch’ in the driving seat.
With the score 89-5 at the start of the 18th over there were just six runs required from 18 deliveries for Bradninch to seal success. There was a minor ‘blow’ to the hopes with the loss of Paul to the third delivery of the 18th over – Paul finally out having scored 25 runs from 32 balls. That left the chase on 90-6 and Connor Carthew was the new batsman to join Hardy.
Carthew played out the remainder of the 18th over with a straight bat and so, with 12 balls left in the contest, Bradninch needed five runs to win with Dan Hardy at the wicket.
Hardy and Carthew ran a three off the third ball of the 19th over and, after Carthew had again seen off the remainder of the over, Hardy slammed the first ball of the final over to the boundary to seal a terrific victory.
With Bradninch ended on 987-6 it meant a four wicket win and a deserved place in the next round of the competition.
Hardy trooped off with 22 to his name from 17 balls while Carthew was unbeaten on nought from seven deliveries, but with his supporting job well done!