NATIONAL COUNTIES TROPHY quarter final nail biter

NCCA-Logo MasterThe remaining five places in the quarter-finals of the National Counties Trophy will be up for grabs in a fascinating final round of group matches today – weather-permitting. 

Cumbria, Cambridgeshire and Wales NC all qualified for the last eight last weekend. Cumbria and Cambridgeshire, the only unbeaten sides in the competition, will secure home advantage in the quarter-finals on July 18 if they can beat Shropshire at Netherfield and Norfolk at Peterborough respectively. 

Wales NC currently top Group Four but, having already played their four matches, must wait for the outcome of today’s Berkshire v Buckinghamshire match at Wargrave to discover whether they will stay there. 

In Group Two calculators may well be required to decide the final placings as all five teams have a mathematical chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

Dorset’s match against Devon at Dorchester will determine who displaces Herefordshire, who have completed their group matches, at the top of the table. 

In Pool Two Wiltshire welcome back Durham batsman Cameron Steel, who is on loan with Hampshire, for the visit of Cornwall to Warminster. 

Wicketkeeper Jake Goodwin, who has missed their last two matches, is also available while Cornwall include all-rounder Paul Smith and seamer Tommy Sturgess in place of Antony Angove and Alex Bone. 

Dorset’s winner-takes-all match against Devon at Dorchester will be their first fixture at the Recreation Ground since 2011 when Hertfordshire were the visitors for a Trophy match. 

Holders Berkshire have included 19-year-old batsman Toby Albert in their squad for a potential debut against Buckinghamshire.  

Albert, another product of Berkshire’s successful pathway programme, is now on the Hampshire Academy and has made three centuries for Hampshire’s Second XI this season. 

All-rounder Tom Scriven, another who has progressed through Berkshire’s age groups to Hampshire, is also included in the 13-man squad. 

Oxfordshire, who host Bedfordshire at Aston Rowant, have named new Sussex signing Harrison Ward in their squad. 

The England Under-19 batsman is a product of Oxfordshire’s youth system and made his debut for Sussex in Thursday’s Vitaly Blast match against Middlesex having signed a rookie contract earlier this week. 

Oxfordshire have added Freddie Smith to the side beaten by Buckinghamshire last weekend. 

Bedfordshire welcome back captain George Thurstance from injury and have included Matt Wells, who is in line for a competitive debut having played in friendly matches last season, in their squad. 

While Herefordshire monitor events at Warminster and Dorchester, they will be playing MCC in a 50-overs contest at Brockhampton. 

The match will raise funds St Michael’s Hospice who cared for Brockhampton captain Andrew Watkins before he died in 2019. 

MCC’s team includes former Herefordshire players Karl Pearson, Matt Rawnsley, Liam Gwynn and Aamir Farooque plus ex-Gloucestershire seamer Will Rudge. 

National Counties Trophy (50 overs) 

Sunday July 4 (1100) *weather permitting  

Group One 

Netherfield: Cumbria v Shropshire. Knypersley: Staffordshire v Cheshire. 

Group Two 

Warminster: Wiltshire v Cornwall. Dorchester: Dorset v Devon. 

Group Three 

Sudbury: Suffolk v Hertfordshire. Peterborough: Cambridgeshire v Norfolk. 

Group Four 

Wargrave: Berkshire v Buckinghamshire. Aston Rowant: Oxfordshire v Bedfordshire 


Friendly (1130) 

Brockhampton: Herefordshire v MCC 

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