(l-r top row - Jake Taylor, Karthik Menon, Luke Westcott, l-r bottom row - Jack Ogle, Ed Marsh, Ben Hanger)
Chertsey batted first - Jake Taylor continuing his electric form with the bat and retiring off 9 balls (we're just glad we were behind some reinforced glass for all the teeing off), and along with Ben Hanger their quick-thinking got the total up to 35 off just two overs, Ben retiring with 27 in the 6th over. Jack Ogle's speedy feet were unlucky not to bag a few more, but at losing his first wicket in the fifth over the score was 67-1 and the hard work had started to make things a bit easier, an incredible par score seeing as the usual is 120-ish after 12. Luke Westcott and Ed Marsh brought up 28 between them and then it was time for Karthik Menon, who deals mostly in 4s and 6s anyway (remember that CPL century last season), so this would be right up his straza. Ed Marsh made him work for his 31 off 15 though, earning a brief respite when the ball got stuck in the hall fittings. Luckily the game was being live-scored (we couldn't keep up) and streamed (hello to the 45-odd of you who tuned in for the game via YouTube - swizzy innit). So after Jake Taylor was allowed back in (as a reward for retirement) he could have another go at trying to break things, and ending on 41 (including four 4s), Chertsey completing their innings on 162-4.
In reply all Chertsey had to do was learn from the semi final and limit the extras, and the trio of Luke Westcott, Ed Marsh, and Ben Hanger kept things tight for the first three overs. Over 5 brought on Jack Ogle, who's rockets bagged him two wickets in his first over and a neat 8 runs in the process. This only encouraged Old Hamps' decline, with wickets three and four coming over the next two overs.
Running out of options and with no retirees to make a reappearance at the end Old Hamps were well behind the eight-ball, and after four run outs in the innings, they were taking risks. They never quite recovered from the slow start, so it was just a matter of whether they would see out the overs or whether Chertsey would bowl them out.
The end came in the last over with the reappearance of Jack Ogle, after two boundaries and via a lightening-quick stumping by wickie Jake Taylor, we could finally celebrate.
Chertsey now move on to the regional finals phase, taking place in Beckenham (Kent's out ground) on Sunday 20th March, where they will take on the outcome of Purley and Ickenham in the quarter final once their county final is decided this coming Sunday, then fingers crossed the semi final. Then, if we get through all that, a trip to Lords is on the cards. Lords, can you imagine? Let's not get too giddy just yet.
Chertsey 162-4 (Jake Taylor 41, Karthik Menon 31)
Old Hamptonians 116 a/o (Jack Ogle 2-27)