Centurions, runners-up in both NatWest Evening League JEP and S E Guy Memorial knock-out cup competitions this season, are bridesmaids no longer after they defeated JUBRFC by five wickets at the FB Fields in the divisional play-off for the Challenge Cup.Richardson and Matt Smith featured in a vital third-wicket 57 partnership after Centurions had slumped to 11 for 3 after just three overs.
Six of Richardson’s seven scoring shots were boundaries, three in successive balls in Richard Anthony’s third over giving Centurions the incentive to pick up the run-chase again.Chasing JUBRFC’s 95 for 4 Centurions went on to win with just over an over to spare.
Smith finishing unbeaten on 28, including four boundaries.JUBRFC’s innings also included a half-century partnership between Tom Perchard and Jamie Mackintosh, Perchard playing several fine shots on the leg-side to finish seven runs short of a deserved half century.Skipper Richardson said: ‘It was a good performance all round and I’m delighted for the team that we won.
I was very happy restricting JUBRFC to under 100, that was down to some good bowling and some tidy fielding.’We had a good chat before hand about our fielding and I think it paid off.
There was some excellent encouragement throughout between the players and after a couple of shaky moments’ batting we eventually got home with a little to spare.’Matt Smith and I managed to take the score on to 68 before I was out.
Matt batted beautifully and he was deservedly still there at the finish.
We lost in two cup finals this season and had we lost again it would have been very hard to take.’We’ll savour the moment and look forward to playing in Division I when the time comes.’JUBRFC captain Anthony said: ‘The better team won on the night and fair play to Centurions they deserved to win as they’ve beaten us three times now this season.’It was always going to be hard because we did not get enough runs on the scoreboard.
We started slowly and were always behind what I wanted us to score.’Our fielding and bowling was tidy in reply but we just didn’t have enough runs to defend.’Nathan Taylor hit the winning runs, a boundary.