Dons emulate county heroes

Hambledon under-15s, with manager David Brown, left, and club chairman Mark Le-Clercq
Hambledon under-15s, with manager David Brown, left, and club chairman Mark Le-Clercq
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Sam Northeast during the press conference at the Ageas Bowl on Friday. Picture:

Northeast: I can realise my dreams with Hampshire

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Hampshire are not the only cricketers from our region warming up for a prestigious finals day.

Hambledon under-15s have made it through to their own t20 national championship finale.

And now preparations are in full flow for the visit to Kibworth Cricket Club in Leicestershire on Wednesday – where they will lock horns with three rival teams from across the country.

The young Dons booked their place in the last four for the first time in the club’s history with back-to-back wins in the regional finals.

Skippered by Rory Prentice, they edged past Finchampstead and then beat Guildford to be crowned the region’s top under-15s outfit.

In the clash with Berkshire side Finchampstead, they restricted the opposition to 120 for seven.

Jack Dyer then struck 24 but with wickets falling at an alarming rate the Ridge Meadow side’s dreams began to fade.

Smart running from Ollie Atkinson kept them in the hunt, though, with eight required off the final over.

And after an unfortunate run out, George Harding and James Toogood ran a miraculous two to midwicket to snatch victory.

Hambledon batted first in the clash with Guildford and posted an impressive 133 for eight.

Joseph Brown (28) and Prentice (33) made good contributions before Tom Gwyther added some crucial late impetus with a quickfire 33.

Superb fielding, including an excellent stumping from Eddie Lewis and direct hit from Joseph Farrell, then put the Dons in control after the break.

Three dropped catches in five balls gave Guildford hope.

But a fine catch from Toogood then calmed the nerves and tight bowling saw Guildford fall 12 runs short of victory.

Harding (three for 22) and Brown (two for 24) were the pick of the bowlers as Hambledon booked an historic trip to their very own finals day.