There was a definite end of term feel at Banford Green on Saturday. Millpark were already safe, while the visitors, Bangor, had already achieved promotion.
Nonetheless, there was a match to be played, and although only pride was at stake, 15 September will be remembered as the day 12-year-old Harry Lockhart took his first, but certainly not last, wicket in senior cricket.
Batting first in this 20 over fixture, a rejigged Millpark batting lineup started with a blast from the past as Johnny Breen and James Wright opened the innings. The latter did not last long, trapped LBW without scoring, bringing Paul McCart to the wicket.
The two batsmen struggled to inject much momentum as the visiting bowlers gave very little away. Breen did launch a big six and two fours as the rate improved, McCart also stroking the ball through the field nicely.
The partnership ended when Breen was caught on the boundary for 23. McCart was next out for a well crafted 18, but thereafter the innings tailed off, the remaining batsmen mustering just 20 runs between them.
The 22 extras helped give a little respectability to the final score of 81 all out, but this was well below par - the total of four boundaries is not really what T20 audiences are used to seeing. Harry Lockhart (1-23) opened the bowling in tandem with Darrell Martin (1-4), the two players separated by 22 yards and 31 years. Lockhart bowled the maximum four overs with great maturity. His first wicket in senior cricket was the prize scalp of English, who he deprived of 1000 runs for the season, dismissed with the help of a superb diving catch in the deep from James Wright.
Although the result was not really in doubt, Millpark exercised reasonable control in the first 8 overs, as they kept their opponents to a reasonable 30-2.
Clark then flexed his muscles, some powerful hitting rapidly bringing the match towards its conclusion. Ryan McCart went for 20 in his three overs, James Wright for 21 in two, and Ben Talbot for 9 in his six deliveries. Talbot at least had the consolation of taking a wicket, McKeown well caught on the boundary by Johnny Breen off a full toss.
Bangor cantered home by a comfortable margin of six wickets, with seven overs to spare.