SPL t20 Cup: Epic run chase sees Lymington book date at Ageas Bowl

BIG-HITTER: Lymington's Darren Cowley

BIG-HITTER: Lymington's Darren Cowley

First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

LYMINGTON’S mix of experience and youth proved the ideal ingredient as they booked a place in the final of the Southern Premier League t20 Cup.

Wily campaigner Darren Cowley led the way with a typically-explosive knock as Lymington upset the formbook to sink Havant by five wickets at the Sports Ground on Sunday.

But while the 37-year-old top scored, teenagers Damien Mortimer, Dom Hand and Felix Ambrose all played crucial roles as Lymington prevailed following an epic run chase.

Cowley, who had set up the semi-final by smashing a 35-ball century in Lymington’s last-eight win over Hartley Wintney, was again at his imperious best as the hosts set off in pursuit of Havant’s imposing 193 for four.

He dominated a second-wicket stand of 96 with Mortimer, effortlessly plundering five towering sixes and five fours in another box office innings which delighted neutrals and home supporters among a sizeable crowd.

However, once Mortimer (52) and Cowley (61) had departed in quick succession – the latter brilliantly run out by Steve Matthews – the initiative was with Havant.

Although 17-year-old Ambrose (23) kept Lymington in the hunt, with the rate climbing and 50 required from the final four overs, Havant remained favourites.

But as the pressure mounted, youngster Hand (34) kept a cool head, the 18-year-old cracking six fours and one six off just 13 balls and remained undefeated at Lymington reached 197 for five with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Ed Freeman (2-23) had claimed the scalps of Steve Matthews and Peter Hopson as Havant slumped to 20 for two before a third-wicket stand of 148 between Ben Walker (81) and Chris Morgan (49) paved the way for their big total.

Lymington, winners in 2009, will meet holders South Wilts under the floodlights at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on Friday, August 15 (7pm).

Meanwhile, New Milton (94-4) will face Totton & Eling in the final of the Plate competition after easing past Hook & Newnham Basics (93) by six wickets. The showdown takes place at Totton’s Linden Oval on Sunday, August 17 (4pm).

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