Wasn't this just the 'nearly' match! I can remember the massive anticipation following the thrashing of Surrey in the quarter-final. Then the draw was made and all conquering Gloucester away came out of the hat. They had won everything in one day cricket for the previous 3 years. Deep down I knew we hadn't a hope, but how close we came! Should have known it would have ended in disappointment, the signs were there from the start. We planned to leave Derby by Intercity25 at about 5.45 the night before but our train was delayed for 3 hours because the rails were bending due to intense heat! We arrived at our B&B at 10.50 and our pre-match activities were reduced to supping in a boring student bar rather than a great pub crawl around Bristol! When the day arrived the tension was unbearable - can't ever remember being so nervous. Our run rate was slow and wickets went down frequently until Kaif and Hewson added a great partnership which gave us a fighting chance with 219 on the board. The atmosphere was incredible and Derbyshire fans were everywhere. Many club players were able to make it due to the game being on a thursday - everyone was singing and drinking in the stifling heat. Gloucester made batting look easy and Corks bowling was wayward at times. Welchy then dismissed both openers but at 193/5 things looked dismal. Wharton took out another two batsman and unbelivably birthday boy Cork, in his final over, then got wickets 8 & 9 leaving the score at 217/9. Unfortunately Averis hadn't read the script as he won the game with a four off Welchy. I was devastated, that hurt like nothing before and went back to the B&B straight to bed. Years later I still think about this game and what might have been!
I remember watchin this game on the tele because i was in Portugal at the time and was dead gutted when we lost. I couldnt quite believe it when they hit the winning runs. I thought Pop Welch was going to win us the game.
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