HORSPATH’S dream of making it all the way to Lord’s turned into a nightmare with a 14-run defeat at Cornwall side Grampound Road in the Voneus Village Cup.

The Oxfordshire champions looked on course for a quarter final spot when they reduced the Roadies to 121-9 in the 33rd over.

But then the home side’s last pair of Martin Roberts and captain David Neville shared a stand of 47 from 43 balls, to take the Devon & Cornwall group winners to 168 all out off 40 overs.

It was a massive momentum swing as the hosts went into the tea interval in buoyant mood, while Horspath were left deflated.

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Even so, the target should have been in the visitors’ grasp on a good batting pitch with a short boundary on one side of the windswept ground.

However, Horspath were always up against it after losing early wickets and were eventually bowled out for 154 off 39.2 overs.

It had been so different earlier in the day as the visitors, with their band of supporters having made the near 500-mile round trip took charge of the last 16 tie.

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Grampound Road openers Jack Mingo and Alex Lean put on 44 for the first wicket, but Max Smith bowled Mingo for 21 and the home side were 61-2 when Lean was run out for 23.

With Jehan Mohammed producing an excellent spell of 3-22 off his eight overs and backed up by some impressive work in the field, Grampound Road collapsed with eight wickets falling for 60 runs.

However, wily campaigners Roberts and Neville refused to be dislodged before smashing 33 off the last three overs as the wheels came off for the visitors.

Neville pulled three sixes over the short boundary, while Roberts slammed five fours before the home captain was bowled by Subhan Javaid off the last delivery.

Horspath were then soon in trouble at 14-2 with Neville (2-22) on a roll as he opened the attack with his off-spin.

The visitors never really recovered and with Stephen Green controversially dismissed when he was caught off what appeared to be an above waist-high no ball, they slumped to 57-5.

Elliot Ruff batted well to make 32 before he became the first of four catches at long on for Mingo as wickets continued to fall with Chris Roberts (3-28) to the fore.

The lower order kept Horspath’s hopes flickering, but with 17 needed to win off the last over it proved too much, and their Village Cup adventure came to an end.

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.