By Neil Fissler
Martin Maslin admits that Lincolnshire just wanted to avoid embarrassing themselves when they were drawn away to Glamorgan in the 1974 Gillette Cup.
But little did they know that they were about to become only the second Minor Counties side to beat a first-class county in a one-day knock-out competition.
Durham were the first side to do so when they beat Yorkshire in the same round of the same competition just 12 months earlier.
Maslin said: “It was so unexpected. We had just really wanted to put up a good performance. That is all we could aspire to, to really do our best and not be rolled over for next to nothing.
“To be fair, for any Minor Counties side that is the least and the most that they can expect to do. To think of beating them was miles down the list of what we hoped to achieve.
“Having said that we were a confident, young side and we weren’t overawed although we didn’t think about winning the game.”
Lincolnshire fielded first at the St Helen’s ground in Swansea and the Glamorgan wickets soon started to fall at regular intervals.
It was only a ninth-wicket partnership between Malcolm Nash (51) and Tony Cordle (36) that saved the Welsh side from a complete disaster.
Maslin with 3-29 and John Dale 3-33 had left Glamorgan reeling at 59-8 but Nash and Cordle took them up to 146 before Geoff Plaskitt finished them off nine runs later.
Lincolnshire were 49-3 in reply but Maslin, with an unbeaten 62, and Trevor Blades (50no) saw them home with 42 balls to spare.
Maslin believes that it was, counter intuitively, the partnership of Nash and Cordle that secured Lincolnshire victory because it allowed the pitch to dry out.
He said: “We knew that we were quite a useful side and I remember fielding first which was a big plus. It was damp pitch.
“But there was a very good stand between Nash and Cordle which meant, by the time we got them all out, the pitch had dried out.
“And after that it wasn’t then doing half as much.
“If it hadn’t have been for that stand they’d have been all out for well under 100 and I think that if we’d have got them out early then Nash, Cordle and (Lawrence) Williams would have nipped through us as well.
“By the time that we batted there was hardly any movement at all in the track, in fact, it had become quite a good pitch.
“Mind you, I didn’t think that they bowled well. We lost some early wickets but then Trevor Blades joined me and he played superbly. Glamorgan were flat and very deflated.”
Lincolnshire came unstuck in the second round crashing to Surrey (266-5) by 123 runs after Geoff Arnold, with 5-15, bowled them out for 143, despite Maslin scoring 58.
It was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show because they failed to qualify for the Gillette Cup the following season.
Maslin added: “Minor Counties was two-day cricket in those days and it was hellishly difficult to get a result in the matches. To get any result you needed to bowl a side out twice.
“Or you had to have two very good captains who wanted to make a game of it. Now they play three-day games so they can bat all day.
“We had got into the Gillette Cup in 1974 because we had a wonderful bowling side and won ten of 12 games we played by bowling teams out twice.
“We obviously got quite a few runs, too, but we had one hell of a bowling attack which helped us no end.”
BACK ROW (left-right):
John Dale: Left-arm spinner who made his Lincolnshire debut in 1949. Was a teacher at a Lincolnshire grammar school.
Martin Maslin: All-rounder. His father Norman played for Lincolnshire. He spent the whole of his working life in the family estate agent business of the same name and is now living in Market Rasen.
Geoff Plaskitt: Fast bowler lives in Saxilby, Lincoln. He is now retired after working as a journalist and then as senior manager for Heinz. He designed the logo for Duncan Fearnley bats.
Paul Willis: Fast bowler who worked for a wholesale electrical company in the Grimsby area. Has lived and worked in Bristol for nearly 30 years.
Terry Barnes: Seam bowler. He has lived in Portishead, Bristol, for more than 30 years and is now retired after working as a senior manager for the Inland Revenue.
Cliff Barker: Seamer who also worked for the Ross Group then became a production administrator from his base in Nailsea, north Somerset.
Adrian Richardson: Batsman who was a crop farmer based in Keisby near Bourne, Lincolnshire.
John Sunley: Batsman who was a lecturer at the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education for 27 years until his sudden death at his home in Humberston, Lincolnshire, in August 2009 aged 62.
Trevor Blades: Wicketkeeper/ batsman. He lives in Bingham, Nottingham, and is now retired after working as an art and design teacher at Arnold Hill Comprehensive School.
Terry Johnson: Opening batsman who lives in Gainsborough and worked for an engineering company Rose Brothers before running a pub and was a director of Gainsborough Trinity FC.
Ian Moore: Batsman. Was the general manager of a building society and then director of a property company. Lived in Macclesfield until his death in February 2010, aged 68.
Geoff Robinson: Opening batsman who worked for Singleton Birch and managed the Ross Sports Club, died in June 2015 aged 71. His father Geoffrey also played for Lincolnshire.
This piece originally featured in The Cricket Paper, Friday January 1 2016