Andrew Hignell reflects on a historic victory at Trent Bridge after Glamorgan won the Royal London Cup, adding the 2021 trophy to their previous list of title successes having won the One-Day League in 1993, 2002 and 2004 as well as the County Championship in 1948, 1969 and 1997:
Glamorgan clinched their first silverware for seventeen years by winning their first-ever Cup Final in 58 years of one-day cricket as they comfortably defeated Durham in front of a crowd of 7,200 at Nottingham.
This was a consummate team performance as the Welsh county loyally stuck with the thirteen players, including two without full contracts, who had got them to the final whilst Durham added a couple of returnees from The Hundred after the ECB decreed that those from the franchises who had been eliminated could take part in the season’s showpiece final, held for the first time at Trent Bridge. But Club captain Chris Cooke, Head Coach Matthew Maynard and many of the Welsh county’s playing staff and leading officials were present in a nearby hospitality suite and, following the formal presentation to Kiran Carlson and his team in front of the pavilion, they all joined in with the joyous celebrations.
It was fitting that Michael Hogan, a wonderful servant to the Club, should claim the final wicket as Chris Rushworth edged a ball into Tom Cullen’s gloves. The 40 year-old veteran, along with Andrew Salter, were the sole survivors from Glamorgan’s previous Cup final appearance at Lord’s in 2013, with the off-spinner also winning the Man-of-the-Match Award after an outstanding all-round performance with a vital innings which maintained the Welsh county’s progress towards a decent total after they had been put in to bat under a heavy cloud cover and with a hint of rain in the air.
Whilst at the crease, Salter hit three fours plus a massive six from just 22 balls as he oversaw Glamorgan’s progress from 203-6 in the 39th over to their eventual 296-9, with Hogan and Lukas Carey maintaining the momentum with an unbeaten 36 from the last 23 balls, with Hogan swatting what should have been the final delivery of the innings from Matty Potts, but called a no-ball on height, into the stands at mid-wicket. Salter then entered the attack at the Radcliffe Road End for the 11th over with Graham Clark and Alex Lees seemingly well-set.
With the run-drunk B’s to come - Cameron Bancroft and David Bedingham – plus Clark, the competition’s leading run-maker already finding the ropes, Durham appeared well-set in their pursuit of 297. But the Pembrokeshire-born bowler dismissed Lees with his fourth ball before, with the last ball of his third over, dismissing Clark who became the first of two fine catches for James Weighell whilst stationed at deep mid-wicket against his former employers. A few overs later, Weighell also caught Bedingham for a duck as Durham’s much vaunted line-up misfired with Salter putting a brake on their progress with his miserly spin.
Carlson also safely pouched a skier as Luke Doneathy miscued an over-ambitious drive against Carey, but perhaps the most important catch had come a few overs earlier as Andrew Gorvin, fielding as a substitute for Hamish Rutherford, ran in from deep backward square-leg to cling onto a top-edge from Bancroft as the Australian looked like mounting a fightback. Although Sean Dickson continued the rally and ended with the day’s highest individual score, Glamorgan had enough runs in the bank and were indebted to their captain for a game-changing innings earlier in the day.
With Rushworth having bowled his ten overs straight through, in a throwback to the old days of Sunday League cricket, Carlson arrived in the middle with his team on 51-2 from a dozen overs having been kept in check by the vastly experienced leader of the Durham attack. But Carlson responded with a quickfire 82 from a mere 59 balls with his fusillade of thirteen boundaries including a huge blow into the Pavilion car park and reminding the Glamorgan faithful of Mike Llewellyn’s massive six in the Lord’s final of 1977.
For a while, it also looked as if Carlson would emulate the achievement of Maynard at Lord’s in 2000 by posting a century in the final, but eighteen short of this landmark he was caught behind against Potts. A few hours later though, the 23 year-old had the broadest of smiles across his young face as he lifted the Royal London trophy on the presentation podium, surrounded by his jubilant colleagues with the accompanying fireworks being the cue for a heady night of Welsh celebration.