Belmont & Edgware 1st XI will contest their second consecutive National Knockout Cup final with a comprehensive 8-wicket victory over London Maccabi Vale 2nd XI.
BECC captain Warren Averbuch won the toss and invited the visitors to bat. Averbuch and Gideon Restan opened the bowling, restricting the scoring opportunities for Vale openers Cantor and Spanjar. Averbuch broke the partnership, and Ashley Connick, who replaced Restan, continued to apply the pressure to the Vale middle order.
Averbuch soon picked up his second wicket, and Connick removed Jeffrey Permutt shortly afterwards. Daniel Caplan, who made his team's top score of 20, and Jonathan Lederman began to rebuild the Vale innings before a Caplan slip led to him being run out whilst going for an easy single.
Neil Myeroff, identified by the Jewish Chronicle as a danger man last week, picked up three quick wickets for next to no runs, and Restan returned to clean up the last two batsmen in consecutive balls. Vale had been dismissed in the 31st over for 96, largely due to tight bowling and excellent fielding, particularly from Daniel Geey, Oli Simons and Dan Abrahams, as well as Michael Blasebalk who two catches.
The BECC reply was led by Connick and Abrahams. Connick took 9 from Jonathan Freedman's first over and 18 from Lederman's only over at the other end. Adam Morris replaced Lederman and exerted some control during his two overs, but the hosts were still scoring at more than 7 runs per over. By the time Connick was dismissed by Freedman in the 8th over, he had made 42 from just 34 balls and pushed the score on to 52.
Abrahams followed soon after, and it was left to Simons and Jonny Kay to finish the game. The 15th and final over was marred by an injury to Adam Morris who, whilst fielding on the boundary, attempted to catch Simons' powerful shot. The ball travelled straight through his hands and onto his nose, and he was immediately taken to hospital.
Kay struck the one remaining ball for four to leave BECC 97-2, with Simons unbeaten on 26 and Kay making 16 not out.
A comfortable victory for BECC 1sts, who will now meet MAL in the final in September.
After the match, Ashley Connick announced that he has decided to relinquish the first-team captaincy at Belmont & Edgware CC.
Warren Averbuch, who took temporary charge whilst Connick was completing his law conversion course in the early part of the season, will assume the role on a permanent basis.
Speaking about his decision, Connick said: "Our plan for the year was for me to miss only a handful of games whilst studying, and for Warren to captain in my absence. Sadly, exams required more of my time than I had anticipated, and since I cannot continue with the role in 2012 anyway, I feel the best thing to do is to provide the club with continuity by having Warren as captain.
"Hopefully, I can recover my form, which dropped off somewhat whilst I was captain, and help Warren to lift the Maccabi National Knockout Cup in September.
"Warren is an intelligent and wholehearted cricketer, and the club is in great hands."