Belvoir seconds eased into the last four of the Raleigh Cup with a thrilling victory.
In a game punctuated with high drama, Belvoir owed their success in part to John Copley, Lyndon Copley and Jack Copley, who each reached a quarter century, a decisive last over by Paul Chadwick and a brilliant run-out at the death by Dan Gibson.
Skipper John Copley’s team displayed amazing spirit, which bodes well for the semi-final of the 20-over contest, which will be played at Knipton against either Young Lions or Beeston and Toton Sycamore on a date to be confirmed.
It could have all been so different, though, in Sunday’s game.
Belvoir got off to a shocking start, when openers James Fellows and Tony Wade were clean-bowled in the first three balls.
Matt Harland and Paul Chadwick restored calm, putting on 21 before the captain and the dependable Tony Dyer notched up a well-paced partnership of 39. John Copley (25) Lyndon James (28no) 28 and Jack Copley (25) saw Belvoir to a total of 146-8.
In reply, East Leake found Dan Gibson growing in confidence and he had three wickets by his third over.
Belvoir supporters began to breathe easier, until Steve Oakley wholeheartedly punished the attack with several colossal sixes.
He was beaten, though, when his stumps were left in disarray by a stunning Chadwick delivery.
With East Leake eight wickets down and needing six for a win, Chadwick yielded just one run in the last over and Dan Gibson pulled off a stunning piece of fielding for a run-out, leaving East Leake five runs short.
Belvoir 2nd 146-8
Paul Chadwick 14, James Fellows 0
Tony Wade 0, Matt Harland 15, Tony Dyer 14, John Copley 25, Lyndon James 28 no, Jack Copley 25, Olly Elson 6, Extras 19.
Total (8 wickets) 146
East Leake 141-9
Bowling: Lee Fazackerley 1-45, Daniel Gibson 3-17, Tony Wade 3-17, Paul Chadwick 1-8.