After a lot of rain the previous day the toss would prove important and fortunately Ben Chaffey called correctly and asked, Durham & North Regional Champions Burnofield to take first knock.
Josh Thomas immediately took advantage, as he had the prolific Mitchell Killeen (0) caught behind by Rowan Keyte in his first over. Tom Bolam (35) and Callum Brown (33) then put together a 60 run partnership as the Deane seamers failed to hit their line and length. The introduction of the more accurate Rufus Williams-Pritchard (4-0-11-2) saw him make scoring more difficult for the Burnopfield batsmen. He was rewarded when Harry Love took a good catch, low down at midwicket, to see the back of Callum Brown. Freddy Stevens then made easy work of a skier to long on as Rufus claimed a second wicket to see the dismissal of Tom Bolam. Burnopfield were now a healthy 82-3 after 12 overs. Off spinner, Taylor Flitton (4-0-23-0) continued his good form in the competition and established an element of control during his spell as his team looked to restrict Burnopfield to a modest total. It was the returning opening pair who benefitted, as first Butler (13) holed out to Harry Love at wide mid-off to see Josh Thomas (4-0-18-2) complete an aggressive bowling display and then Aman Rao (4-0-17-1) bowled the dangerous Hall (26). Two run outs in the last over saw Burnopfield complete their 20 overs with a challenging 124-7.
Skipper Ben Chaffey (44) and Aman Rao (17) once again showed why their opening partnerships have been so important to Taunton Deane’s progress in the competition as they manoeuvred the ball around the field to put on 41 runs before Aman was caught at mid-off by Hall off Pearson in the eigth over. Josh Thomas (17) looked to dominate the Burnopfield attack with some hard-hitting, but he managed to middle a full toss straight into the hands of Tom Bolam on the long off boundary, leaving Taunton Deane on 78-2 at the start of the 13th over. Max Johnson (4) looked in good form, but proceeded to run himself out trying to force an unlikely single to see The Deane 89-3 after 14 overs. Rufus Williams-Pritchard joined skipper Chaffey and the pair looked to keep the scoreboard ticking with quick singles and the occasional boundary. All looked to be going well until a great stop and throw from the mid-wicket boundary saw Chaffey run out coming back for an ambitious second run. 100-4 and still 25 runs needed off 25 balls. The composed Freddy Stevens strode to the crease and he and Rufus maintained the same approach; picking up quick singles and waiting for any loose deliveries. The pair kept the run rate under control and at the start of the last over Taunton Deane needed 4 runs to win. Rufus then produced the shot of the innings ... a classic drive through the covers to see his team over the line. 125-4 and a win by 6 wickets and a place in the 2019 Vitality National U15 Cup Final.
A well-timed chase with a lot of maturity shown by Ben, Aman, Rufus & Freddy in particular. Equally, Josh Thomas produced his A game opening the bowling with the ever dependable Aman Rao and Taylor Flitton in great support. Freddy Stevens’ fielding was outstanding and Harry Love with two catches & Rowan with the early dismissal of the Burnopfield opener all proved vital as Taunton Deane progressed to the final.
Man Of The Match : The whole team ... it was a real collective performance ... well done!
Youth Cricket Manager
Taunton Deane CC