Woodhouses win 2011 Persimmon Village Cup final

by Rich Abbott

A brutal innings of 63 from 31 balls from 17 year-old Nick Doyle saw Woodhouses CC (Lancashire) win the 2011 Persimmon Village Cup final with a 58-run win over Rottingdean CC (Sussex) in a 10-over shoot-out, following the abandonment of the 40-over game due to a long rain delay.

Doyle put on 83 in a decisive opening stand with Josh Tolley (36) and proceeded to smash three sixes in the final over of the innings – the first to bring up his fifty from just 28 balls – to set an intimidating 113 to win.

The first match, abandonned after 13 overs when the threatening cloud cover finally gave way, saw Woodhouses restrict Rottingdean to 43 for 3. But after an enforced break of nearly four hours, the Lord’s bell tolled at 3.40pm and the umpires led the players out for the second time, delighting a frustrated crowd who proceeded to cheer wildly every dot ball and run. Drastically reduced it may have been but the teams, both first-time finalists, were to get a game at the Home of Cricket after all.

Rottingdean won the toss and elected to bowl. Woodhouses, with an average age in the low 20s, wasted no time targetting the short boundary and demonstrating youthful exuberance between the wickets. Twenty year-old opener Josh Tolley showed why is the leading scorer in this year’s competition, keeping his side ticking over at 10-runs-an-over for the first half of the innings.

Doyle, not to be outdone, blasted a six over mid-on to bring up the fifty partnership from just 34 balls. Faced with two well set batsmen, Rottingdean spread the field. Amid a flurry of boundaries and in desperate need of inspiration, Rottingdean found it in the form of Alex Potter. The tall quick produced a lively and energetic spell from the Pavilion End, generating pace, adjusting well to the Lord’s slope and having more success than his colleagues by pitching the ball up.

Potter secured a breakthrough with the wicket of Tolley in the eigth over but just as Rottingean seemed to be pinning their northern opponents back, Doyle launched his 10th over assault, dispatching Potter into the Tavern Stand, over the heads of the delighted Woodhouses supporters. A six off the last ball of the innings lifted Woodhouses’ 10-over total to a large 112 for 1.

The sun came out for the second innings, but Rottingdean may not have noticed as big-hitting Najmus Jamil fell victim to Luke Swards (1 for 16) in the first over.

Pressure built up through dot balls and athletic fielding – not least from Luke Swards, who dived forward at mid wicket to take a stunning catch to dismiss Rottingdean captain Henry Ledden – consolidated Woodhouses’ strong position. A Rottingdean challenge that was faltering, was killed off in the seventh over of the innings by the introduction of Woodhouses’ leading Village Cup wicket-taker this season, Ashley Prescott. The medium pace bowler took a hat-trick – at Lord’s – doing all the work himself for the second and third wickets with two caught-and-bowled dismissals.

Callum Megram (2 for 7) did a good job dismantling the Rottingdean tail, ending the innings with a wicket maiden as Rottingdean limped to 54 for 8. The match ended in bright, September sunshine with the Woodhouses flag flying proudly above the Lord’s pavillion. Below it the Woodhouses players and travelling support celebrated a polished display and deserved victory.

Neil Davidson from Persimmon, the house builders, said: “This was Persimmon’s first year sponsoring the National Village Cup and the spirit of the captains to manufacture a match out of the horrendous weather made it a special occassion. Many congratulations to Woodhouses for their victory and commiserations to Rottingdean. But seeing amateur players – the lifeblood of the sport – playing with such gusto, we know that both teams will have memories that’ll endure forever.”

Rich Abbott is a freelance cricket journalist

This entry was posted in Club cricket, Featured Articles, Features, NVC2011 season, Stats Results, The Village Cup, Village. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Woodhouses win 2011 Persimmon Village Cup final


    Congratulations Woodhouses on a great victory,condolences to the Rottingdean players who should be proud in the knowledge that they reached the final and played the game in a true sportsmanlike way.To all the members & fans of Rottingdean who I chatted with,in the rain-thanks for your company.Also many thanks to the Cricketer for all their efforts in running the competition.

  2. Stewart Kenyon says:

    Well done to Woodhouses, great achevement and what a young team, should go from stregnth to stregnth with that team.

  3. Cass says:

    Absolutely sensational performances with bat and ball. The most refreshing thing is that the performance was delivered by local lads who have grown up with the club. Let’s hope the pathetic claims that soured the semi final victory can be finally put to bed.

  4. RAP says:

    Well done lads you did the village proud. Congrats to everyone involved with the club

    • TA says:

      Woodhouses will go down in the history of the Village Cup competition as being the first “village side” to reach the final and win the trophy with a tarnished reputation.They broke the rules of the competition and the organisers of the competition allowed them to progress instead of ensuring zero tolerance towards rule breaking.

      No matter how jingoistic Woodhouses and their supporters are they would be well advised to bear in mind that the way in which they achived their “success ” will not be forgotten.

      Maybe the CRICKETER will also come to rue the decision they took in this case should another club make an “honest mistake” in 2012and include an ineligible player in one or more rounds of the competition.

      By failing to take action to disqualify Woodhouses they have set the bar far too low and in doing so have failed in their responsibility to the other 285 villages taking part this year.

      • joe says:

        let me guess a sessay supporter

      • joe says:

        “Losing doesn’t eat at me the way it used to. I just get ready for the next play, the next game, the next season.”

        The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own.”
        “I’m not much of a cricketer, I don’t have any friends and, all I like to do is go home and be alone, and not worry about ways not to lose.”
        “One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.”

        “Take care to sell your horse before he dies. The art of life is passing losses on.”

        “The first proof of a person’s incapacity to achieve, is their endeavoring to fix the stigma of failure on others.”

  5. RAC says:

    I suspect tongue in cheek?

  6. Sir Geoffrey says:

    Perhaps a good job us yorkies didn’t get to Lord’s–did you know it’s more than10 bob a pint now down there.

  7. Confucious says:

    Those that win can smile.
    Those that lose can please thaself

  8. Joseph Yadobu says:

    Sorry, but I am not quite sure about the rule. Cant professional players participate in this tournament?

    • Sam Lewis says:

      I assume that’s a joke but in case it isn’t – the rules are quite clear here – Rule 11b:- http://blog.thecricketer.com/?p=19725&WLPageID=1528

      No players who are paid or who have ever been paid can play. Neither can players who play 2nd eleven cricket for a county this year can participate and if they aren’t qualified for England then they need to have stayed in the UK for three years in a row without leaving.

      If what is being said on this blog is correct then Woodhouses have been guilty of breaking all of these. But I reiterate the “if” point of that sentence. They still deserved to win on the day and it was one of their youngsters who smashed the ball to all parts in the end.


  9. peter tudor says:

    sadly I feel the noble game has had another brush with the tarnishing effect of “disingenuous-ness” with all this quibbling over elegability. The notion of the butcher,baker,candlestick-maker team composition seems a long way from this debate

  10. R STEIN says:

    Received the ‘Yorkshire Village Cookery Book’ as a present–would you credit it,
    evey recipe begins–take a kilo of Lemons!

  11. Rob says:

    Congratulations to Nick Doyle on his half century at Lords. Did the Woodhouses faithful take a cap around for a collection as they did for one of their “non-paid” players in the semi final against Sessay?

  12. HAC says:

    My word what has happened to Village Cricket my father after the war worked hard in his locality to get village cricket up and going aagain, I think he would be very disappointed at all the silly and at times darn right nasty things being said on this blog. I feel that the real spirit of village cricket has been severely eroded and more comments on this site will not improve matters it is now the time to draw the line and hope that the organisers of the Village Cup competition will take a close at the rules and if found necessary modify them for 2012.

  13. Mike Hamnett says:

    To all of the bellyaching whiners, please direct your verdant gaze to rule 11d:

    “d) Not withstanding anything in these rules, the organiser’s reserve the right to decide the eligibility of any team or player.”

    If you feel you have a complaint you might wish to refer to rules that ALL the clubs are signed up to. The organisers made their decision, deal with it and move on or go back home to your parents’ basement.

    Congratulations to both teams and to the groundstaff for their help in making the day that is surely every cricketers dream a reality under pretty unpleasant conditions. It was great to see youth cricket flourishing at Woodhouses-even with big Doug the average age of the Woodhouses team must have been in the low twenties!!!

    • TA says:

      The organisers had a clear and unmistakeable duty and that was to enforce the rules with zero tolerance this they failed to do Woodhouses should have been ejected from the competition before the semi final.

  14. Poirot says:

    I have been investigating the backgrounds of the whole Woodhouses X1 and it would appear that there is some doubt as to the eligibility of them all!

    Cassidy M (Capt)
    It would appear he doesn’t even own a pair of Wellington boots, how un-village like. His excuse that there are no sheep in Woodhouses is pathetic.

    Doyle N
    How can a so-called 17-year-old hit a ball over the Mound stand- (further investigation required as to authenticity of birth certificate)?

    Tolley J
    His village idiot appearance is obviously achieved by a professional make up artist.

    Sloan D
    Whilst he may have spent his whole life in Woodhouses he once left the village to buy a newspaper, surely this is against the spirit of village competition.

    Sloan R
    A ringer if ever there was one, using the name Sloan to trick people into believing he is a member of this notorious family renowned for cross dressing

    Hardman N
    His father scored far too many runs in his 40-year playing career at Woodhouses so must be excluded on genetic grounds. He has also got ginger hair which is positive no.

    Swards L
    Falsely accused of only moving to Woodhouses after being confronted with the words ‘I am with child, what steps taketh thou’
    Bloomin great big uns is the alledged reply

    Prescott A
    Who is he trying to kid with his farmers boy impersonation, sorry mate, farmers boys don’t get hat tricks at Lord’s

    Meagram C
    More like a prospective member of a boy band than the local yokel.

    Tuson G
    Allegedly bought a round of drinks within the last 12 months (although no firm evidence is available) which clearly prohibits him participating in the competition

    Clarke J
    Had a holiday somewhere other than Skegness, Scarborough or Filey—Torquay is considered far too exotic for some folk

    • Mike Hamnett says:

      Regarding the rumours of a Tuson round, the nearest he has come to a round is coming in late in junior school choir during Frere Jacques!

    • sports fanatic says:

      Brilliant Hercule ! Your powers of observation and detection are quite remarkable. Rather like WCC youth system. Here’s to another trip out of the village and down to the smoke next year. I’ll keep the mule fed and the wheels on the cart oiled.

    • TA says:

      I think you could be an entrant for the X factor you are so funny.

  15. Mike Hamnett says:

    Actually, The Cricketer could go to the Lancashire County League website to check this information…as could you.

    • TA says:

      The accuracy of the Lancashire County League website is only as good as the information that it gets from clubs in the league in other words if a club decides for whatever reason not to give information for example whether or not they pay a player as a pro then a check is useless.

  16. Ian says:

    What an absolute farce….

    WHo says cheats never prosper….

    They obviously get the chance to pretend to be “village” cricketers at lords!!


  17. RScar says:

    Firstly, Well done to Woodhouses. Secondly, in response to TJ, having played for Prestwich (whose members would have written the two articles linked above) I’ve always known the term Pro to refer to a player regardless of whether he is an overseas amateur or a professional – or to a player having once been pro/overseasAM but is now classified otherwise. It just adds a little bit more oomph to the journalistic side of league cricket and doesn’t always represent the current status of a player.

  18. TA says:

    Having read Prestwich’s match report of their game against Woodhouses 7th May this year it clearly says that a delivery by Swards Woodhouses Pro struck Danny Jones Prestwich’s pro on the helmet. Have Prestwich got it right was Swards a pro playing for Woodhouses in this game or is Prestwich another Lancashire County League side who have made an honest mistake. Perhaps they would like to comment.

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  20. Ronald Rogers says:

    Completely agree Joseph. Appears the Cricketer hasnt checked all the information avaialble to them…

  21. JSwinscoe says:

    As a Rottingdean member I have to confess my disappointment with the final. Not because we lost, for surely loosing with good grace or at least being seen to loose with good grace is of fundamental importance to the game as any thing else. I think it fair to say that our expectation had been tempered by the quarter and semi final matches that had gone to the wire with evenly matched opponents. When the teams took to the field it was apparent that the opposition average age and waistline was significantly lower than ours and it looked set to be experience vs youthful flair. After ten overs it was as I commented to the person next to me clear that the opposition were a league apart . It has only been subsequent to the match that I have learned the prescience of that statement. It was a shame that the weather robbed the players on bothsides the opportunity to showcase their talents in forty over match. How sad then when Rottingdean’s youngest player came to the crease at number ten to hit the last ball of the match some forty odd runs adrift he was not greeted with the sporting gesture of a magnanimous long hop but a tight field and a sharp ball. I would say one of the defining qualities of village cricket is joining the opposition for a post match drink in the bar. Would I have done so on this occasion, yes I would for that is cricket. I’ll have a pint of bitter and twisted.

  22. TA says:

    Have a look at Lees Brewery Lancs County League matches played 0n 3rd July, 10th July, 24 July and 25th July in each of these LC Swards is denoted as being a pro and as you say if this were the case he would have been iineligible to play in the 2011 Village Cup.

  23. I really can’t believe that Woodhouses CC have been allowed to get away with this – should there not be a rematch between the club that Woodhouses beat in the semi and the team that made the final. They should be fined as well as banned from the Village Cup for the next two years (Woodhouses that is). Not many people in the game of cricket like Woodhouses – they are the most hated team of all times!!!!!

  24. Ian says:

    so having just watched club life on sky, this must be the reason why woodhouses weren’t banned from the competition… can you imagine how embarrasing that would have been… feature a side in the competition that get half way through then realise they have been playing against the rules / spirit of the game and have to kick them out.

    it was never going to happen.Easier for all concerned just to sweep it under the carpet and remind everyone how great it is that a little village cup got all that way into the final rather Sky to be so embarrased about the whole episode and explain they were kicked out the competition for breaking the rules

    I wonder if any of the woodhouses guys got an “apperance fee” for being on the TV…

  25. TA says:

    Rob and Ian, Why worry Woodhouses will only be rememberd in the future as the only team in the history of the competion to win the trophy by default i.e. having broken the rules regarding player eligibility aided and abetted by the organisers who failed to operate zero tolderance regarding obeying the rules are concerned, neither Sky or the Cricketer will admit to this.