Church Times cricket cup: God gives the crease

07 May 2008

Paul Handley previews this year’s Church Times Cricket Cup competition

Guildford’s year: above: Martin Sheldon, captain, with the Cup RICHARD WATT

Guildford’s year: above: Martin Sheldon, captain, with the Cup RICHARD WATT

THE START of the Church Times Cricket Cup season heralds the start of two months of unbroken sunshine. That’s the plan, anyway. It would certainly make a change.

The competition enters its 57th season in robust form. Oxford and London, consistently winners or runners-up, will both be looking to regain a place in the final after failing to do so last year (though the semi-final draw means that only one of them is likely to make it). Guildford, on the other hand, will not wish to relinquish the cup that they won so convincingly from Birmingham in last year’s sun-drenched final.

Do you play? There is an important note specifically for team secretaries below; but the main reason for publishing this page is to pass on the contact details of each of the diocesan team secretaries.

First of all, not every side listed here is brimming with accomplished players, fighting to secure a place in the next fixture. Last season, for example, a few teams were able to field only eight players. Second, the rules allow players in dioceses that, for whatever reason, cannot field a side to contact neighbouring dioceses and offer their services.

Nor is this invitation limited to clerics (and definitely not just male clerics). Each team is allowed a quota of lay people in full-time church work.

Can you catch a ball? Can you hit a boundary? No? Well, you probably won’t stand out, even so. The key thing, as so many bishops agree, is that it is healthy and fun.

Can you catch a ball? Can you hit a boundary? No? Well, you probably won’t stand out, even so. The key thing, as so many bishops agree, is that it is healthy and fun.



There are 28 teams entered for this year’s competition. Sadly, we have lost Durham and Rochester.The other team to complete the quarter-final line-up will be drawn from the groups’ seven runners-up.

Group 1A: Blackburn, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester

22 May Manchester v Liverpool

22 May Blackburn v Chester

 5 June Chester v Manchester

 5 June Liverpool v Blackburn

12 June Manchester v Blackburn

12 June Liverpool v Chester

Group 1B: Bradford, Wakefield, York

22 May Wakefield v York

 5 June York v Bradford

12 June Bradford v Wakefield

Group 2: Ely, Leicester, Lincoln, Peterborough

 2 June Leicester v Lincoln

 2 June Ely v Peterborough

 9 June Leicester v Ely

 9 June Lincoln v Peterborough

16 June Lincoln v Ely

16 June Leicester v Peterborough

Group 3A: Chelmsford, London, St Albans, Southwark

 2 June Chelmsford v London

 2 June Southwark v St Albans

 9 June St Albans v Chelmsford

 9 June Southwark v London

16 June St Albans v London

16 June Chelmsford v Southwark

Group 3B: Canterbury, Chichester, Guildford, Winchester

 2 June Winchester v Guildford

 2 June Canterbury v Chichester

 9 June Canterbury v Winchester

 9 June Guildford v Chichester

16 June Winchester v Chichester

16 June Canterbury v Guildford

Group 4A: Bath & Wells, Exeter, Salisbury, Oxford

 2 June Oxford v Salisbury

 2 June Exeter v Bath & Wells

 9 June Oxford v Exeter

 9 June Bath & Wells v Salisbury

16 June Oxford v Bath & Wells

16 June Exeter v Salisbury

Group 4B: Birmingham, Coventry, Gloucester, Lichfield, Worcester

28 April Gloucester v Coventry

28 April Lichfield v Birmingham

12 May Gloucester v Worcester

12 May Coventry v Lichfield

19 May Birmingham v Coventry

19 May Worcester v Lichfield

 2 June Lichfield v Gloucester

 2 June Worcester v Birmingham

 9 June Birmingham v Gloucester

 9 June Coventry v Worcester

Important note to secretaries:

Straight after each game, will someone (usually the winning team secretary) make sure the result is emailed or phoned to the Church Times as soon as possible. We still need to be told even when games have been postponed or cancelled. Contact: Helen Saxbee at; 020 7776 1064.



BATH & WELLS: Andew Spear, (0117 932 7178)

BIRMINGHAM: Colin Mansley, (0121 4751508)

BLACKBURN: David Thompson, (01772 729197)

BLACKBURN: David Thompson, (01772 729197)

BRADFORD: Andy Bowerman, (01274 586414)

BRADFORD: Andy Bowerman, (01274 586414)

CANTERBURY John Tapper, (01580 713836)

CANTERBURY John Tapper, (01580 713836)

CHELMSFORD: David Beales, (01206 530934)

CHELMSFORD: David Beales, (01206 530934)

CHESTER: David Johnson, (01270 250256)

CHICHESTER: Jonathan Swindells, (01273 734859

COVENTRY: David Capron, (01789 764261, mob 07780 707521

ELY: Steve Midgley, (01223 362574

EXETER: Geoff Lloyd, (01822 854682),

GLOUCESTER: Robert Pestell, (01454 260489)

GUILDFORD: George Newton, (01252 320618, mob 07740 543145

LEICESTER: Barry Hill,

LICHFIELD: David Baldwin, (01948 880552)

LINCOLN: Ian Walker, (01427 873790)

LIVERPOOL: Dennis Hall, (01925 290545)

LONDON: Matthew Jones, (020 8886 7523)

MANCHESTER: Anthony Barnshaw, (0161 280 7286)

OXFORD: Hugh White, (01869 349869)

PETERBOROUGH: Adrian Morton,

ST ALBANS: Nick Sharp, or

SALISBURY: David Seymour, (01258 471276)

SOUTHWARK: Jim Jelly, (0207 703 5587)

WAKEFIELD: Jim Hunt, (01484 314163)

WINCHESTER: Mike Powis, (01489 786717)

WORCESTER: Stephen Agnew, (01905 754772)

YORK: Paul Wordsworth,

Final Dates for Matches

First round matches to be played by 20 June

Quarter-finals to be played on 23 June (provisional date 26 June)

Semi-finals to be played on 7 July (provisional date 10 July)

The final is in Southgate, north London, on 4 September

Quarter-final draw

In this year’s quarter-final draw, this is how the groups came out of the hat (the winners of each group to agree a venue):

  Group 3A v 4B   Group 3B v Runner-up

  Group 1B v 1A   Group 4A v 2

Semi-final draw

The winner of 3B v Runner-up will play the winner of 1B v 1A

The winner of 4A v 2 will play the winner of 3A v 4B

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