The Ronnie Shapiro Cup, competed annually between Southgate and Chigwell & Hainault, is heading back to Essex after many years of dominance by Southgate after a nail-biting finish at World's End Lane.
After looking at a completely green and spongy wicket, Chigwell captain Danny Myers consulted his players and decided to bowl first. The clouds were overcast and it was felt that observing what the wicket would do and the benefit of knowing how attacking to play would be useful.
Alex Katseph took the new ball and struck early on to remove Cohen with a diving caught and bowled for 0. Paul Salador bowled with pace and guile and offered very little to the batsmen, allowing the pressure to be exploited by bowlers at the other end. He bowled through his seven overs for a mere 15 runs.
Katseph was having difficulties with his run-up and was taken off after three overs but the introduction of Stuart Kaye brought some extra pressure to the run-rate. Ashley Smokler, who has previously hit consecutive big scores against Chigwell, never looked comfortable and the introduction of Stuart Kaye caused his downfall for 6 as Smokler attempted a reckless drive. Kaye bowled with his typical economical loop and picked up the impressive figures of (1-26 from seven with two maidens).
Ali Khan (1-22 from 6) and Nigel Katseph (0-19 from 3) continued to build pressure with some economical bowling as Schapiro and Morris dug in, only occasionally managing to pierce the impressive Chigwell fielding.
Drinks were taken and the very first ball provided Khan with the wicket of Schapiro for 30. The wicket was crucial, since Schapiro was beginning to play with more aggression.
Southgate captain Richard Mitchell (14) came and briefly threatened but went, as Danny Myers got him with his first ball caught by Salador at mid-wicket. Alex Katseph (2-35 from 6) returned for a much tighter second spell and was rewarded with another wicket.
Australian Taitz looked like he was going to add some much needed impetus, making a quick fire 22 but he too was bowled by Myers for 22. Myers also had Morris caught behind for a cautious 26.
Southgate were running out of overs to get the score above 150 and Myers also took the wicket of Paul Bean to finish with brilliant figures of 4-20 from 6 overs. Although spread out over two spells and from two different ends, Myers really led from the front despite having to use a slippery ball in the rain. The Southgate innings finished on 137.
Lloyd Duddridge, fresh from his 84 against Belmont, fell for a duck LBW to the economical bowling of Ray Bean. The pitch was generally keeping low and turning into a minefield as various ominous divots were appearing.
A partnership of 53 between Matt Murray and Michael Myers provided a solid basis and some momentum. Although initially cautious with only 17 runs coming from the first seven overs, the pair started to get their eyes in soon after and got the required rate down below four an over.
Myers hit some nice shots off his legs and some deft touches off the evergreen bowling of Norman Bean but the highlight of his innings was a couple of big straight shots. Murray looked to pull anything short and drive anything outside off. Myers and Murray picked off any occasional bad balls but Myers became the first of Norman Bean's three victims when he was out caught at mid-wicket for 27. Murray launched a massive six off Schapiro before also falling to the same bowler when edging a drive onto his own stumps for 31.
Josh Rose, also on the back of a knock of 93, gave his wicket away for 0 with a suicidal run-out before Khan fell LBW to N Bean for one.
With the score at 81-5, Danny Myers and Salador needed to regroup and stop one of those infamous Chigwell collapses from happening. Any idea of cautious batting was not in Salador's mind as he tore into the Southgate bowlers. Norman Bean, who had bowled his first six overs for a miserly 13 runs, was hit for 15 off his last, with the final three balls of his spell sent to the boundary. Salador was also brutal against the pace bowlers from the other end as one ball flew like a rocket on the bounce into the pavilion.
Chasing his 50 in style, he swung at a straight ball from Ray Bean and was dismissed for an extremely valuable 44.
At this point Chigwell only needed a further nine runs from six overs. Nothing to worry about, surely? Mitchell’s men couldn't possibly win this one and cause heartbreak for Chigwell & Hainault? Well, the plot certainly thickened when Myers fell for 10, bowled by Schapiro.
A visibly animated and unnamed captain was standing five feet onto the pitch barking orders at the batsmen to "play straight" and not throw the game away.
Stuart Kaye fell, attempting to hoik Clive Hart and departed for a duck. Nigel Katseph was holding firm at the other end, playing straight and correctly without looking like giving his wicket away. Aryeh Myers pinched a single and brought the game to a tied score before he was bowled by Schapiro.
The scores were tied and it was down to father and son Nigel and Alex Katseph to get the one required run without losing a wicket. Tension was high and the batsmen were crowded by Southgate fielders. In somewhat of an anti-climax the game was won by Chigwell & Hainault with a wide and the celebrations began.