Three Gloucestershire senior sides preparing for finals

GLOUCESTERSHIRE Over 70s produced another fine team effort to breeze past Kent by 73 runs and book a place in the County Championship play-off final.

Frocester’s John Evans, who has enjoyed such a memorable summer for county and country, once again led from the front at Redmarley, top scoring on 78 and sharing a stand of 134 for the second wicket with Dave Collinson (54).

And that partnership paved the way for a total of 246-8 which proved to be out of reach for the visitors as player of the match John Turton made inroads with a superb opening spell of 3-19 from nine.

Tony Garton (1-27) and Rick Carman (1-37, both from nine) also kept the pressure on to ensure Gloucestershire went through with something to spare.

Roger Bees’ side now prepare for the final which will be away to Surrey on Thursday September 7.

Two more Gloucestershire sides – the O60s 2nds and the O60s 3rds – also won their respective semi-finals.

The 60s 2nds emerged 40-run victors in their Bowl semi-final away to Devon in Torquay.

The visitors, who lost the toss, reached an imposing 268-5 from their 45 with opener Steve Witcomb (81) and David Yates (78) sharing a second wicket stand of 153 ahead of Andy Macleod compiling an attacking 48 from 35.

In reply, Devon were well set at 149-1 but were always behind the run rate thanks to a fine effort by the entire Gloucestershire attack.

New ball partners Mike Pearson (0-30) and Dave Tudor (0-32, both from nine) gave nothing away while there was also fine support from Paul Silvester (2-45), Andy Kear (2-49) and Witcombe (1-51) as the visitors booked a final on Tuesday September 5 away to Yorkshire.

On the same day, Gloucestershire O60s 3rds will be away to Hertfordshire in the Vase final thanks to a tremendous 15-run success against Middlesex at Stowell Park.

Martin Hopkins dominated the home side’s challenge of 207-7 with an unbeaten 81 while there were also useful innings from Ian Martin (40) and captain Bill Church (30).

Middlesex were then kept in check by another fine bowling effort with Martin (1-29), Sean Walters (1-32), Andy Malpas (1-34) and Pete Storey (1-35, all from nine) doing a great job along with Simon Mezsaros (2-12 from three).

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