Grasshoppers eye a Lord’s return
Grasshoppers have set their sights on Lord’s once more after retaining their Shropshire Indoor crown.
They beat Acton Reynald in the county final at Sundorne Games Hall in Shrewsbury by 82 runs – exactly the same margin of victory which had seen them claim the Wrekin Indoor League title the week before.
Reynald qualified for the final thanks to winning the Pontesbury Indoor League title in 2019, while the Hoppers hold the Wheatland Indoor League crown in addition to the Wrekin Indoor shield.
Hoppers batted first in the county final and racked up an impressive 140-2 with Joe Yapp, Craig Heath and Andy Harrison all retiring when they reached 25.
In reply, they restricted Reynald to 58-3 to retain the Shropshire crown. They now play Lancashire champions Farnworth Social Circle Cricket Club in the first regional round of the national competition at Sundorne Games Hall on Sunday, February 23 (3pm).
The winners will progress to the regional semi-final at the Bolton Arena on Sunday, March 8.
Hoppers will be hoping to go one better than last year when they reached the national finals at Lord’s, only to be beaten in the semi-final by South Wiltshire.
They beat Shifnal by 82 runs in the Wrekin Indoor League final thanks to some significant contributions from their middle-order.
Heath hit 28, while Yapp and Andy Harrison were unbeaten on 26 and 35 respectively as they finished their 11 overs on 137-4.
Yapp then stepped up with the ball, taking 4-17 as Shifnal were dismissed for 55, with Jack Twigger offering the only real resistance with 30.
In the semi-final, Hoppers had got the better of St Georges after dismissing them for 80, with Ben Miller top-scoring with 27 for the Dragons. Hoppers then reached their victory target for the loss of one wicket, with Heath hitting an unbeaten 25.
In the other last four clash, Shropshire Disability finished their 11 overs on 73-4, with Chris Birkett unbeaten on 27. Shifnal overhauled their score for the loss of two wickets – Shaun Lorimer leading the way, unbeaten 19.