NEWPORT made it through to their third final of the season after a last-ball thriller against Northop Hall in the Welsh Cup.

The men from Spytty Park will face Swansea for the trophy, who they will also face in the South Wales Premier League T20 final along with their T20 Macey final against Abergavenny.

Newport made the long trip to north Wales and it proved to be a successful one, but only after youngster Charlie Stewart took a wicket with the last ball.

The visitors elected to bat but runs were difficult to come by and things got even trickier when Michael Clayden was first out for 18 with the score on 32-1 off 10.1 overs.

Imran Hassan joined youngster Hugo Caldicott and a battling partnership saw the Newport total up to 62 off 17 overs before Caldicott was out for a useful 24.

Runs were not flowing and, although Hassan was still at the crease, a big score looked unlikely when Mujahid Ilyas went for 17 with the score at 98-4 off 26 overs.

Hassan reached a battling 50 off 48 balls in the 30th over, but soon Nathan Berry was out for 10.

Worse was to follow as Hassan was out for 72 in 72 balls, with the score on 153-6 in the 36th over, as Northop seemed to be in the driving seat.

Chris Hardy provided a few lusty blows late on but with wickets falling freely Newport could only muster 172-9 off their 40 overs.

All the Northop bowlers bowled well with Darren Leach claiming 3-16 at the death. Joshua Kennedy and Jac Kennedy claimed two wickets each.

Newport needed early wickets – and got them.

Steff Kelly picking up two, both caught behind by Berry, with just 13 on the board in five overs.

The Northop batsmen had to approach the innings more cautiously now and Newport gained the upper hand.

When Hardy claimed the third wicket at 33-3 (11 overs) another at 51-4 (14 overs), and then Ilyas quickly followed with another wicket in the 15th over. Northop had slipped to 57-5 and Newport were in the driving seat.

Waughington claimed the sixth wicket at 65 in the 19th over, although Northop captain Will Higginson was showing calmness at the other end.

Higginson was joined by Joshua Leach and they began to show the game was still far from over.

They stopped the rot until leg spinner Charlie Stewart claimed his first wicket when Leach was out for 12 with the score on 93-7 in the 30th over.

Higginson was still there, now joined by Will Edwards, and with 80 runs still needed to win in just 10 overs they were going to have to up the run rate.

Higginson upped the tempo, reaching his 50 in the 35th over with the score on 133-7, but just as he was looking to be the match winner he was out to Chris Hardy for a gallant 67 off 68 balls and Northop were now 153-8 (36.4 overs).

The tension was high as Edwards inched his way closer to the winning target in singles.

Northop were favourites and at 166-8 with one over left and just six to win on least wickets, but seven to win outright, it seemed certain they would get over the line.

It was left to young Stewart to earn his stripes – he had bowled his spell well throughout the innings and was determined to take his opportunity.

A single to Edwards off the first ball, inched Northop closer but exposed the tail and Stewart took his opportunity to strike – 167-9 with four balls left.

Stewart kept his nerve: single, single, single off the next three balls meant last man Darren Leach needed two to tie the game off the last ball of the match.

The Newport team were in raptures as Stewart clean bowled Leach with Edwards 27 not out looking on despairingly at the non-striker’s end. Newport had won by just two runs.

Hero Stewart claimed 3-29 in 8 overs but all the Newport bowlers bowled well, Kelly 2-33, and Hardy 3-46 claiming the wickets, all backed up by some fine fielding and catching.