LICHFIELD’s players will be eager to lay ghosts to rest on Thursday when they meet London in the 2017 Church Times Cricket Cup final at the Walker Cricket Ground in Southgate, London.
Lichfield has appeared in the final four times in the past seven years, and lost every time. On their last two appearances, in 2013 and 2014, they were defeated by London, who have lifted the trophy for the past four years.
Much to nobody’s surprise, London have reached this year’s final with relative ease. They came top of group 3, then prevailed over Bristol in the quarter-finals, even though one of their star batsmen, Sam Rylands, switched sides after starting training at Trinity College, Bristol. A semi-final against Leeds (whom they beat in last year’s final) was won effortlessly, by 89 runs.
Lichfield secured a quarter-final place after coming second in group 1. They beat their rivals Coventry in the quarter-finals by 8 wickets, and Canterbury-Rochester in the semi-finals by 24 runs. The Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Rt Revd Mark Rylands, has shone at the crease, clocking up 61 n.o. in the semi-final.
Lichfield will be hoping that the presence of one Rylands — and the absence of another on the opposing side — could help them to clinch victory this time.
The match begins at about 11 a.m. and will finish in the early evening. All are welcome. Christ Church, Southgate, which overlooks the ground, will be open during the match for prayer, and perhaps some tea and cake.