This was the most pleasing win of all
James Morris was always confident that Berkshire would beat Staffordshire in the MCCA Championship final.
The defending champions seemed to be heading for defeat when, chasing modest target of 97, they slumped to 35-5 and 81-8.
But, not for the first time, they dug themselves out of a hole, and went on to edge home by one wicket to lift the title for the fourth year in a row.
“Yes, it was a game that could have gone either way, but in all honesty, I always believed we were going to do it, because of who are the ethos we have developed over the years,” said the skipper.
“When you get down to the crunch moments, we just have that belief we are still going to get over the line.
“So, while it was nerve wracking for everybody - myself included - I knew we were going to do it, we always do. It happened in the KO Trophy final at Wormsley when we beat Cumberland by one run. Now we have won the Championship by one wicket.
“The Championship is the one we want to win every year as it is the most important one which we prioritise above everything else because is the one you spend most time playing.”
Morris admitted that the narrow win over a resolute Staffordshire side at Banbury after playing Lincolnshire three years running was the “most pleasing one of all.”
He explained: “We had some really great battles with Lincolnshire, but last week's final will probably be the one that will always stick in my memory more than any other.
“Staffs pushed us closer than Lincolnshire did.
“There were stages when the game was fluctuating one way, then the other.”
Whilst remaining unbeaten in the Championship, Morris felt that his side had not always been at their best.
He said: “We have not played brilliant cricket this year, we really haven’t. There have been glimpses of some really good stuff, and some great individual scores, and some amazing spells of bowling which we saw at Banbury.
“But we haven't played our best cricket, yet we have still won the two most important competitions in minor county cricket. It really is incredible.
“We are going to enjoy this win because to be able to do the double again is really special when you haven't played as well as you could have done.”
The skipper continued: “I am so proud of the boys. Rich (Morris) won man of the match, and quite rightly for his first-innings knock (of 89), but Jack Davies (42 not out) was exceptional in the second innings. He was so determined to get us over the line. To open the batting and see your side home was incredible.
“I have got to say a big thank you to Jack for that knock. He showed everyone else how to play on that wicket and found a way of getting our team over the line.”