NCCA Knockout Trophy: Staffordshire show plenty of fight, but suffer Bucks loss

Staffordshire left-arm spinner Paul Byrne

Staffordshire’s Knockout Trophy campaign concluded in losing fashion as they were beaten by three wickets by Buckinghamshire.

Staffs ventured south to Gerrards Cross to wrap up NCCA Group Four matters with a very slim chance of clinching one of the two qualification spots to move through to the quarter-finals.

More important, though, was restoring some pride after last week’s nine-wicket crushing by Dorset at West Bromwich Dartmouth went down as one of the most forgettable one-day performances in the county’s history.

A third defeat in four may have occurred in leafy Buckinghamshire, but there was no shortage of fight, commitment and determination – all mostly missing last Sunday – from the Staffordshire side.

They were invited to bat on a wicket which turned out to be sporting, especially in the first half of the match, with good carry, exaggerated bounce at times and excessive turn.

There were still some disappointing shots on display, although there were still some positives with the bat to take away.

And from a bowling and fielding perspective, Staffs kept plugging away. Buckinghamshire looked to be cruising to victory as they reached 135-3, but a quickfire treble from Staffs – proving the much improved attitude in the ranks – suddenly reduced the hosts to 137-6.

Staffordshire had their tails up and kept probing away, but Bucks found a way to cross the line with 10 balls remaining.

Read the full match report here

Pictured: Paul Byrne bowled impressively in Staffordshire’s defeat by Buckinghamshire in the NCCA Knockout Trophy