Dinton’s Oxford Road ground looked an absolute picture as the club took one step closer to Lords by making the last eight of the prestigious National Village Knockout Cup with victory over Middleton on Sunday.
The pre-match preparations were to set the tone for the occasion as the home side were well drilled by coach Alex Saunders who insisted they follow his example and leave nothing in the tank.
In contrast the visitors had a troublesome journey and their request for a delay to the start was readily accommodated.
Middleton won the toss and elected to bat, no doubt hoping to post a sizeable total and create some scoreboard pressure while the coach engine cooled.
The outfield shone in the summer sunshine on a perfect day for batting with par looking somewhere in excess of 230.
The Dinton bowling attack, led by captain Tim Brooker gave nothing away, the visitors were rarely able to push the run rate above four an over despite some lusty blows which cleared the ropes.
Hamsford was by far the pick of the Middleton batters compiling a patient 76 not out but he was never afforded the freedom to cut loose as the home side took wickets at regular intervals.
Mark Ludlow continues to consolidate his reputation as one of the best fielders in the country, if not the world, by creating another partnership-breaking run out.
There were two wickets each for the miserly captain Brooker, experienced Gibbins and slow left armer with the ice cool temperament allrounder Archie Hammond, who kept throwing the ball above the eye line to great effect at the end of the innings.
Unfortunately for the visitors the scoreboard pressure never materialised as the first two overs went for 23 runs and the coach driver made his way to the far side of the ground to start up the still slightly warm engine for a return to Sussex.
Middleton skipper Hanley provided the only real threat with his off spinners delivered from a height which unnerved the local Kite population, he took the only wicket to fall in the run chase.
The home side made light work of the target needing just 27 of the allotted 40 overs to reach it. Gibbins added to his contribution with the ball and continued his excellent form with the bat at first wicket down finishing 53 not out.
He was accompanied by the ageing Sutliff (93*), who was suffering from a back injury and was only declared fit by newly appointed Sports Therapist Iona Buckley moments before the game.
The win sees Dinton into the quarter-finals with an away draw in two weeks time.
Visit the Dinton website if you want to support the club in its quest to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in its history and get one step closer to a dream trip to Lord’s, the home of cricket.