Three Bridges Under-15s were crowned champions of Sussex after winning the ECB National Cup County Final at Blackstone on Friday.
Steve Brown’s boys beat Brighton and Hove by 53 runs and are now in the quarter-finals of the overall competition.
Bridges produced probably their best-ever performance to set up a titanic tussle with the top team from Kent or Surrey on July 19.
Having lost the toss and been inserted, openers James Russell and Krishan Nayee got their side off to a solid start.
The pair then cut loose after the sixth over, with Russell going on to retire with an unbeaten 50 and Nayee weighing with 22.
Joe Walker picked up the gauntlet and smashed an explosive 27 alongside George Cave as Bridges posted an imposing total of 136-3 from their 20 overs.
Brighton’s reply depended heavily on their powerful openers but Arran Brown claimed a quick wicket and, once Tom Sullivan had taken an excellent catch in the deep to remove the dangerous Connor May, Bridges never looked like relinquishing their grip on the game.
A steady stream of wickets followed with Keiran Nevill capturing three and George Cave, Russell and Adam Sowton one apiece.
Bridges’ catching was exceptional. Sullivan picked up another on the midwicket boundary, while Harry Bryant took a skier and then claimed a run-out along with George Cook.
The victory was made even more impressive by the fact talented Sussex spinner Archit Patel was ruled out with an ankle injury sustained in the warm-up.
BRIDGES: Nayee, Russell, Walker, Cave, Sullivan, Cook, Sowton, Brown, Haddon, Bryant, Nevill.
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