THIS is becoming Nantwich’s competition.

The Dabbers’ ninth successive win in the Cheshire County League’s T20 was a decisive one, sending them through to the knockout stage and ending Oulton Park’s hopes of doing the same.

They will have felt most optimistic at 63-0 in the ninth over with skipper Martyn East and Tom Hyslop at the crease.

However they were dismissed in successive overs, after both scoring 33, and a position of strength for the men from Little Budworth was gradually eroded from there.

Matthew Jamieson (30no) ensured the scorers were kept busy, but not by adding big numbers to his side’s total.

He added 26 runs for the third wicket with Nick Ward (8) before Mitchell Spencer (2-32) returned to see off Ben Gibbon (13) and Andy Mills – bowling the latter first ball.

SCORECARD > Nantwich 125-1 Oulton Park 124-6

Their total, 124-6, felt reasonable but a sense that momentum had shifted in the holders’ direction was confirmed quickly when they batted despite the early exit of Ben Johnston.

Captain Ray Doyle (58no) and Luke Robinson (68no) remained at the crease for the remainder, the duo sharing in an unbeaten partnership for the second wicket worth 120 runs.

They hit eight sixes between them, prompting an opposition fielder to scurry to an adjacent field to retrieve a pink ball more than once along the way, as Nantwich raced to their target by the 15th over.

It will feel cathartic for a side humiliated by pace-setting Hyde in a Premier Division fixture last weekend while Oulton Park – victors in all four of their previous knockout ties this season – will return to Whitehouse Lane later this month to try and reverse this result in a Cheshire Cup quarter-finals encounter.

Man of the Match

Tom Hyslop (Oulton Park)

He recovered from an eye-watering, and acutely painful, blow off the bowling of pace-man Jimmy Warrington to score a rapid 33 off 26 balls.

Perhaps most impressive was the way he responded to being brought to his knees; he plundered 16 runs, including two sixes and a four, from the following over.

Hyslop also held on to a catch when the visitors broke through early and was arguably the most consistent of their bowlers, finishing with 0-27 from his four overs.

He was unlucky to be claim a wicket too following a huge LBW appeal.

Champagne moment

Luke Robinson (Nantwich)

There were plenty of strokes to pick from during impressive display of powerful hitting, but the highlight must be a straight six over long on to bring up his half-century.

He went on to finish unbeaten on 63 off 38 balls, a total that included four boundaries and five maximums.

What happens next?

Nantwich, the holders, progress to the competition’s knockout stage as winners of group four with maximum points from three matches.