Steelbacks seals Cup double

Northants’ BBS Cup win over holders London Metro was a see-sawing drama for the history books.

In the space of a dramatic fortnight last September, Northants Steelbacks became only the second team to win both the BBS Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup and the BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup in the same season.

The moment: Metro’s Damion Corrigan edges behind to Northants’ keeper Gerald Porter

At Wolverhampton CC in the T20 final, Northants provided a bowling and fielding masterclass. Gav Griffiths, in the final game of his 35 year career, took 3 for 11 as the Steelbacks dismissed Somerset for just 47. Northants won by ten wickets with 15 overs remaining.
Two weeks later came one of the most dramatic finals in the 42-year history of the BBS Primary Club Cup. At Wantage Road, home of Northamptonshire CCC, first-time finalists Northants faced Cup holders London Metro, who had already lifted the trophy on 17 occasions as well as securing the 2021 BCEW National League title. Replying to Northants’ 187 for 7, Metro slipped to 13 for 3 thanks to an excellent spell by Northants skipper Dave Keeling, who finished with 5 for 22, the second best cup final bowling figures in the competition’s history.

The reactions were a mixture of cheers and tears

Halfway through their innings Metro were 89 for 5 but Damion Corrigan took control and with ten overs left they needed only 40 with four wickets in hand. With six overs left, they were 164 for 9 with Corrigan 90 not out. The tension was palpable as Asif Ali ran in to bowl the first ball of the 25th over, which took the edge of Corrigan’s bat before reaching the safe hands of keeper Gerald Porter to seal this unlikely win. The reactions as Porter held the catch were a combination of delight and astonishment from the Northants players, a mixture of cheers and tears, realising they had achieved something that most had never thought possible. This seals a remarkable rise for Northants who just 15 matches ago had never won a major trophy, now with the 2019 BCEW National League Title and the 2021 Cup double they have become just the third team to lift all three major trophies.

British Blind Sport vice-chair and cricket competitions secretary Dave Gavrilovic said: “Everyone involved would like to thank the Primary Club for their continued support of this competition and of blind cricket in general. We would also like to thank Derek Styman and his team at Northamptonshire CCC for the brilliant job they’ve done hosting the final in this most challenging of years.”