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Horspath set sights on Hartwell Cup glory
15 Sep 2023
HORSPATH bid to sign off the season in style in the Hartwell Senior Cup final against local rivals Oxford at Sir Paul Getty's Ground, Wormsley, on Sunday (2.30).
The club will be making their sixth appearance in the last 11 years in the showpiece decider, having won the competition formerly known as the Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire Cup in 2013, 2014 and 2018.
They also finished runners-up to Banbury in 2017 and in 2022 when the trophy was played for under its new title for the first time.
Horspath booked their place on Oxfordshire T20 Finals Day this year with a resounding eight-wicket win over Brackley in the semi-finals last month.
Tyrone Eyles (4-22) and captain Amin Rafiq (3-20) led the way as the Northants club were bowled out for 101, before Minhaj Jalill (41) and Jehan Mohammed (34no) steered Horspath home with 6.2 overs to spare.
Horspath had reached the last four by topping Pool 1 with a 100 per cent record.
The side opened up with a six-wicket win at Challow & Childrey with Jalill taking 5-14 and smashing 63, before defeating Cumnor by 11 runs in a low-scoring encounter at the Recreation Ground.
A concession from Tiddington after the original fixture was washed out was followed by a 15-run home win over Oxford with Eyles blasting an unbeaten 48 and taking 3-30.
Horspath sealed top spot with a five-wicket win at Aston Rowant with Jalill hammering 54.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder is the competition's leading runscorer with 221 and joint top wicket-taker with 10 victims but has now returned home to Sri Lanka.
Oxford, meanwhile, were last crowned Oxon T20 champions in 2012 when they lifted the Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire Cup with a seven-wicket win over hosts Aston Rowant after capturing the Wilf Bennett Trophy earlier in the day with a 37-run victory over Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts.
They secured their spot at Wormsley with a shock one-run win at holders Banbury in the semi-finals.
Brendon Smith creamed an unbeaten 45 to take Oxford to 133-8, before the north Oxfordshire club fell agonisingly short on 132-5.
Oxford had reached the last four by finishing runners-up in Pool 1. Having opened up with a six-wicket win at Tiddington where Smith smashed 75, they were then handed a walkover by Challow before being beaten at Horspath.
A 15-run win at Aston Rowant got Oxford back on track with Alex Chapman taking 4-22, before Cumnor conceded their final group game.
It will be the fourth competitive meeting this year between the two clubs with the honours even in Home Counties Premier League Division 2.
Horspath won the 50-overs-a-side game by 79 runs last month with openers Jimmy Phillips (57) and Tom Coleman (54) shining with the bat, before Mohammed (4-26) starred with the ball.
Oxford came out on top in the timed game in June, winning by eight wickets with Dylan Swanepoel and captain George Tait each making an unbeaten 62.
Horspath will be looking to continue a superb summer of cup success after winning the Oxfordshire final in the Voneus Village Cup before the 3rd XI claimed the Airey Cup, while the 4th XI lifted the Steve Dixon Memorial Cup and the club also captured the Honey-'B' Trophy with victory in the Oxfordshire Under 19 Cup final.
That came after Horspath Women won Oxfordshire Indoor League Division 2 earlier this year.
The match will be preceded by the Wilf Bennett Trophy final between Thame Town and Henley (10.30).
All supporters are welcome and admission is free. Directions from Oxford. Leave M40 at Junction 5. Turn right at end of slip road towards Ibstone. The entrance to the estate is approximately a quarter of a mile from the motorway, with the ground then around a 7mins drive.
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