Ampthill’s young guns clinch the county title after thrilling final

The triumphant Ampthill Town U14 squad
The triumphant Ampthill Town U14 squad

It was always going to be a close game when two sides like Ampthill and Bedford came head to head for the honour of being crowned U14 county champions.

Both sides had comfortably won their respective leagues for North and South of the county with 100 per cent records, and both sides had a number of county players at their disposal.

The match lived up to everyone’s expectations, with the tensest of finishes that could have gone either way right down to the last over.

In truth, neither side deserved to lose and a tied match seemed like a real possibility as the final balls ticked away.

Bedford had won the toss and elected to bat. A large total was feared with their strong battling line-up, and they did not disappoint with Gay (30), Vaidya (26) and Sheemar (40) leading the way.

However, Ampthill bowled and fielded well and restricted the home side to just 126-3.

Collinge, Lee-Young and Clipstone took wickets, but Everitt was singled out for praise by the presentation committee for his economical four overs for just 15 runs.

Brooke had enjoyed a sound game behind the stumps with some expansive diving stops.

In response, Gay bowled a tight first over for just one run and everyone knew this was not going to be an easy win for either team.

The Ampthill reply gathered pace with Everitt (40) and Collinge (22) continuing the form and the opening partnership that they had enjoyed all summer.

Rennie (2-24) led the wicket taking as Donald and Montieth also picked up wickets, while Lee-Young played a wonderful innings in the middle order but fell before the job was completed.

With 12 needed from 12 balls, parents and coaches could be seen reviewing the scoreboard and biting nails.

Will Murray then came to the crease with just an over or so remaining and struck two cracking boundaries to ease the pressure slightly.

Eventually, with scores level, the winning run was pinched with just two balls to spare and the celebrations broke out.

Ampthill were the victors on this occasion, but it was a great day for both sides and for the game of cricket.