Club Cricket Conference

Sunday, 17th December 2017

Thilo hat-trick snatches one-run victory for Reigate Priory

By Charles Randall

7 June 2017

Young Oliver Thilo  can look back on a sensational match in the ECB's Royal London Club Championship with pride. The under-15 all-rounder  took a hat-trick, all bowled, as Reigate Priory stole an unlikely  one-run win at Horsham in the second round.

Reigate - they start their defence of the Conference Cup in June - won a see-saw match in Sussex when all seemed lost, thanks to runs and wickets from Thilo, who as last man partnered Richard Stevens in a stand of 40 to lift the 45-over total to 163 all out. Jonathan Whiting's four wickets inflicted considerable early damage and, despite a battling 49 from Angus Dahl, Reigate had to recover from 104-8.

The home side's captain Michael Thornely hammered 76 off 90 balls in reply, with Thilo suffering rough treatment, but from 146-1 Horsham faltered, though they still needed only seven runs to win with six wickets in hand. Harry McKinlay gave Reigate hope with a breakthrough, and Thilo, formerly Lingfield CC, returned to the attack with  a wicket off the last ball of his third over. At 162-8 Thilo started his fourth over with the batsmen needing only a single to draw level and, bowling fast and straight, he completed his hat-trick for an amazing win.

The holders South Northumberland cruised through against the Yorkshire Premier League North side Sheriff Hutton Bridge, winning by 136 runs after an innings of 164 from their former Australia Test all-rounder Marcus North. Last year's beaten finalists Swardeston beat fellow East Anglian club Vauxhall Mallards by 52 runs after a quick-fire 70 from Joe Gatting.

Reigate are not due to start the defence of their Conference Cup - now for the Bertie Joel Trophy - until  18th June, but there have already been fireworks, with Hoddesdon smashing 499-5 against visiting Pacific CC in the first round. Rob Walters, the captain, smashed 140 off 88 balls and Sam Davis hit 115 off only 49, leaving Islington-based Pacific with only pride to play for. George Moses hit 57 off 39 balls in reply, but a heavy defeat was the inevitable result. Hoddesdon meet Ealing at home in the second round.

The 499 total, though massive, was well short of the highest, as Langleybury achieved 563 in the Joel competition in 2005. Perhaps more significant was the 579 that Nantwich scored against Caldy in the Royal London Club Championship in 2015 when Liam Livingstone, at the age of 21, hit 350 in 138 balls. It was nice to see Livingstone make his Lancashire debut the following season, scoring 70 at No 7 against Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford, followed by a rapid elevation to captain this season as a leading batsman.