National cup run continues for Kimberley Institute
Kimberley Institute stormed into the regional final of the Royal London National Club Championship with a 74-run victory over Leicestershire side Rothley Park on Sunday.
That came after Kimberley saw their Saturday Nottinghamshire Premier League clash with Papplewick & Linby postponed as a precaution due to concerns in the Papplewick camp over two of their previous week's opponents testing positive for Covid.
“Sunday was a brilliant result,” beamed Kimberley captain George Bacon.
“After not being able to play on Saturday, which was such a nice day, it's sod's law that we wake up on Sunday and it's raining.
“Fortunately it subsided and we started 90 minutes late with a reduced 32-over game.”
Winning the toss, Kimberley were away to a fantastic start with openers Sam Wood (80) and Jack Nightingale (115) putting on 133 as they went on to an imposing 291-7.
In reply, Chris Yates hit 33, Max Law 25 and Connor Roff 27, but Rothley ended up short on 217-9.
“We batted brilliantly,” said Bacon. “Woody and Jack at the top of the order were quality again – super aggressive, really attacking, and putting them under so much pressure.
“It obviously got us in a great position and it was really good to watch. The lads that came in after them could just play with freedom and got us to 291.
“In 32 overs that total is always going to take some chasing.
“Then we did what we needed to do with the ball, got regular wickets and pinned them back. They obviously had to come out and keep playing shots which kept presenting us with opportunities.”
Kimberley now face NPL title rivals Cavaliers & Carrington in the next round on Sunday, 27th June, the winners of which will go into the national stages.
Cavaliers beat Bourne from Lincolnshire on Sunday.
“The Cavaliers beat us in the league recently but it's a one off fixture, and it's knock-out cricket, so we've got just as good a chance as they have,” said Bacon.
Despite being without a league game on Saturday, Kimberley's position was strengthened when Cavaliers suffered a surprise defeat at Clifton Village.
“Clifton, not to do them a disservice, have started better than anyone has really expected and played some really good cricket on Saturday,” said Bacon.
“We don't like to celebrate other people losing or be relying on others to help us, but of course that was a bonus.
“We are only four points off the top spot with a game in hand on teams above us, which is a good position to be in.”