The NatWest Evening League Division III minnows punched above their weight again last night in the semi-final as they defeated strong Division II outfit Jersey Academicals by four wickets on FB2.
On the facing pitch cup-holders Sporting Club fell to fellow Division I side St Ouen.
But the story of the night was Walkovers – who took off for a six-day tour of Holland today – with the underdogs scoring the winning runs off the penultimate ball of the game.
Academicals batted first and there was jubilation in the Walkovers ranks as dangerman Ryan Driver was dismissed off the fourth ball of the innings, caught on the boundary by Chris Agier after playing a pull shot off Bradley Vautier.
Vautier was the pick of the bowlers conceding just nine runs for two wickets from his three overs.
But all the bowlers chipped in with wickets as Academicals were restricted to 99 for 9 from their 15 overs.
Said captain John Patterson: ‘Ryan Driver was the prize scalp as he is such a good player and Bradley bowled very well.
‘The fielding was top class.
Everyone contributed to keep them down to 99 and that was half the job done.’ However after Sam Dewhurst and Tom Perchard saw off Driver the relatively modest target was almost Walkovers undoing as, first, the run rate and then wickets began to fall.
‘It looked like we had thrown it away as we found ourselves needing 23 off the last two overs, but Mark Le Roux came to the wicket and hit a six off the first ball he faced to put us back in the game.
Then Chris Agier hit the winning boundary off the penultimate ball to finish on 27 not out.’ Patterson added: ‘In all the rounds we have beaten teams from higher divisions and they have all been gracious in defeat and wished us well in the next round.
It has been great to get that encouragement.’ Walkovers, who are sponsored by l’Auberge du Nord, will prepare for the final on a two-match cricket tour of Amsterdam.
They flew out this morning and play Ajax Cricket Club on Friday and a VRA side on Sunday.
They return on Monday morning in time to face a top-of-the-table Division III clash with Hautlians in the evening.
Over on pitch 1 at the FB Fields the top two teams in Division I were meeting in the other semi-final.
Sporting Club Fran?ais batted first and St Ouen were also able to celebrate an early prize scalp when Mathew Hague was bowled.
This brought the Carlyon brothers together and Steve was out one short of a half-century while Tony finished on 55 not out but in the face of good bowling and fielding the 15-over total was restricted to 130 for five.
St Ouen stalwart Dave Clark said: ‘I don’t think I have played in a game with so few boundaries.
We bowled and fielded very well and made Sporting Club run everything.’ Gary Kynman and Ward Jenner got the St Ouen reply off to a good start but with 50 needed off the last five overs it was Phil Le Cornu and Dendy Thompson who saw St Ouen home with an over to spare.
‘Sporting Club bowled well and there weren’t many boundaries in our innings either, but Phil Le Cornu played a patient innings and accelerated towards the end,’ said Clark.
He added that St Ouen would not be underestimating their Division III opponents in the final.
‘Walkovers are obviously a good side in a one-off game.
They are very keen and enthusiastic – I was watching them on the next pitch last night.
You can never underestimate any team in a final, because they have got there.’ As to the prospect of facing St Ouen in the final next week Patterson said: ‘It will be a massive game.
We are just going out to enjoy it.
We have no chance – the same as in the previous four rounds it took to get here.’