Woodhouses of Lancashire and Rottingdean of Sussex will walk through the Long Room and make their way out of the Pavilion to play on cricket’s grandest stage on Sunday, September 4.
Woodhouses booked their place in style by knocking out holders Sessay and bringing to an end the Yorkshire side’s 15-game winning run in the competition.
The village Roses clash started in much the same way the county ones start – with rain.
The players came off for rain twice in the first 10 overs but spectators remained defiant – with the travelling Sessay support staying put to ensure their seats would remain dry.
Once the bad weather cleared, a crowd of roughly 600 people enjoyed the day’s cricket with no thoughts of the football which most of Manchester – only 6.3 miles down the road – was concerning itself with.
Put in to bat by the visitors, Woodhouses posted a competitive total of 214-7, with Josh Tolley making a run-a-ball 78.
But the home support were concerned it might not be enough against a Sessay side who chased 227 in the Lord’s final last year – the highest successful run chase in a Village Cup final.
However, Woodhouses got more life out of the strip than Sessay, bowling a straighter line and cramping the batsmen room. Luke Swards took the first two wickets in two balls to find himself on a hat-trick and deflate the away side.
Despite putting up some stubborn Yorkshire resistance, Sessay couldn’t reach the boundary with the same regularity as Woodhouses and were eventually all out for 163 in the 39th over.
Meanwhile in Sussex, Rottingdean hosted Dumbleton of Gloucestershire aiming to be the third Sussex finalist in the last five years.
And having disposed of the other two en route to the semi-final, they had every reason to be confident.
This was reflected in the start they made after choosing to bat first as they racked up 114 before the loss of their second wicket, opener Henry Ledden starring with 79.
But the last 10 overs bought a flurry of wickets as the batsmen tried to up the scoring rate and get beyond 200. They fell short on 172-7 from their 40 overs but felt they still had a more than defendable total.
This proved to be the case as Dumbleton limped to 66-6 by the halfway stage. But thanks to a vital 53 lower down the order from Robin Churchman, the visitors felt they were back in the game.
In an exciting finish, Rottingdean snuck over the line, winning by eight runs and booking their trip to Lord’s.
David Currie is the publishing assistant of The Cricketer
Persimmon Village Cup Final
Woodhouses v Rottingdean (Sunday, September 4)
Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for under-16s or over 65s.
Tickets will be available on the day – with gates opening at 10am.
To pre-book please call the MCC ticket office on 020 7432 1000.