Nearly 300 teams started out on the road to Lord’s back at the end of April. Now the four teams remaining are so close they have passed St John’s Wood station and are pulled up outside Warm Seas House with Old Father Time in view.
Reigning champions Sessay have been impressive on their way to the final, with contributions coming from across the team. Their biggest scare came in the first round of the regional group stage – losing 8 wickets chasing 161 against Staithes. They take on Astwood Bank in the ‘North’ semi-final. Astwood Bank have been miserly with the ball across the whole tournament. They have limited all their opponents, bar one, to 161 or below – with Dumbleton putting 227 on the board in the regional stages (they knocked it off four down).
In the other semi-final, we have Watsons Village Cup stalwarts Reed playing Aston Rowant. Reed only lost 5 wickets across all of their group matches – this was aided by there being two walkovers, but a good stat nonetheless! As Village Cup aficionados will know, Reed won the trophy in 2012, beating Woodhouse Grange in the final. With many of that side still around, it remains to be seen if they can visit the home of cricket once more. The team looking to squash any sense of nostalgia – Aston Rowant – have never made the final, but have been mightily impressive on their way to this stage. They won a nail-biter of a match in the Regional Final – Cumnor ending on 205-9 chasing 207, and have generally scored heavily when asked to bat first.
The semi-finals will take place on the 6th of August and if you fancy popping along and watching some high-quality cricket, they will take place at the following locations.
Astwood Bank CC vs Sessay CC
Reed CC vs Aston Rowant CC