Falmouth win thriller at Grampound Road to set up winner-takes-all showdown with Werrington (From Falmouth Packet)
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Falmouth win thriller at Grampound Road to set up winner-takes-all showdown with Werrington
GRAMPOUND ROAD 254-6
Captain Adrian Noott's battling 59 not out helped steer Falmouth to victory in the final over after a thrilling game against Grampound Road on Saturday.
The win for Falmouth - gut-wrenching as it was - sets up a fairytale showdown with league leaders Werrington on the final day of the season. The winners of that game will be crowned ECB Cornwall Premier League champions.
During the week Noott spoke of his side's determination to banish all thoughts of league glory and focus on the job of overcoming Grampound.
And after winning the toss and deciding to bowl all looked to be going to plan, as last week's seven wicket hero Antony Angove dispatched Werrington openers Aaron Todd (30) and Tom Hughes (5), before sending Matt Manuell back to the pavillion for just three runs.
But after that, Falmouth hit a sizeable bump in the road, and it came in the shape of Chris Roberts and Alex May.
The Grampound pair dug in, with Roberts in particular playing a patient innings which served to frustrate the Falmouth bowlers.
David Neville eventually accounted for May on 54, but the wicket of Roberts proved elusive as Grampound kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Matt South (14) and Josh Sharp (15) were dismissed relatively cheaply, but Grampound finished their innings on 254, with Roberts 69 not out. Falmouth had work to do.
Form suggested that Noott's team were more than capable of picking those runs off, but when Sharpe had danger man Stefan Churcher trapped LBW for a duck, and Richard Kellow caught for 15, doubt surely began to creep in.
Kiwi Matt Goldsbury managed an invaluable 32, but Angove was clean bowled by May for eight, and on 96 for 4 those doubts threatened to grow into full blown panic.
Justin Stephens chipped in with an excellent 39 as the fight back began, but the situation teetered on the brink of disaster for Falmouth.
Step forward club captain Noott and all-rounder Jon Udy. To be within touching distance of the title after a wait of more than two decades, Noott was not about to go gentle into that good night.
It was his superb, nerveless, 59 not out, and Udy's equally impressive and level-headed 54 that helped wrestle the game back out of Grampound's grasp and turn the tide in favour of Falmouth.
Even Kieran Rodda's dismissal for a duck after Udy had fallen to the bowling of May couldn't knock Falmouth out of their stride.
Instead, George Popperwell took to the crease, and alongside Noott, his 20 not out saw Falmouth over the line with three balls remaining. Was it ever in doubt?
Elsewhere Werrington's stuttering four wicket win over Callington leaves them nine points clear at the top of the table with just one game to play.
That game is at Trescobeas.