Canterbury have won the ECB National Indoor cricket competition at the third time of asking. Beaten finalists in 2003 and 2004, the six men from Kent cruised to victory over Blaydon at Lord’s on March 13.
Blaydon, from Durham, were dismissed for a below-par 112, which the Canterbury batsmen, cheered on by some 80 travelling supporters, overhauled with an over to spare thanks to 25s from Paul Steer, Ryan Minter and John Rose.
After receiving the trophy, captain Simon Smith said: “It means everything to a club like ours…Not just for the players but it’s been great for the club as a whole.
“As captain, this is a huge moment for me. It’s something that dreams are made of. To come here and win the national championship, to score the winning runs – I will remember this day for the rest of my life.”
Earlier in the day Blaydon destroyed Bedfordshire’s Flitwick by 20 runs while Canterbury overcame Somerset’s Bridgwater CC with another typically stout batting performance.
“It was more straightforward than we thought it would be,” added Smith. “We really were on top of our game.
“For the past ten years we’ve had the same group of lads together and we knew that we could go far in the competition this year. It helps us keep our skills intact for the summer and it’s an excuse to see your mates on a Sunday but we’ve always aspired to winning the national final.”
With the once-popular and internationally-recognised eight-a-side game still struggling to regain a proper foothold in the UK, the ECB’s six-a-side competition is the country’s most prestigious indoor trophy.