Wounded Cestrians look to finish the season with a bang

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CHESTER-le-Street are still licking their wounds after relinquishing their North East Premier League championship title on the final day.

But they have a tremendous chance to banish those memories and end their season on a massive high when they compete in the Barbados Cockspur Club T20 finals at the County Ground, Chelmsford on Monday.

Chester’s cricket director, Keith Robson, is excited by the prospect of being crowned national short format champions under the floodlights at Essex’s ground.

He said: “After losing the NEPL title to South North, we are determined to do well in this competition and can’t wait for Monday.

“The possibility of winning another national trophy is a massive incentive and we will do our best to win this T20 competition.

“The team is well prepared and confident but will not underestimate the opposition. All the teams that have reached this stage will be hard to beat, so it would be a great achievement for the club, the NEPL and the North East to bring the cup back.

“We are preparing for the finals day during this week, and then the team will travel by coach to Chelmsford on Sunday to arrive at the hotel before attending a buffet reception at the ground in the evening with the other three finalists.”

An action-packed Monday is in prospect, with the event televised live by Sky and the final played under floodlights. The Cestrians will get the chance to check out the conditions as their semi-final is second on the agenda, and scheduled to start at 3.25pm.

The first semi, at 12.30pm, is between St Just, from Cornwall, and the powerful Ealing outfit from Middlesex.

Chester’s opponents are Hyde, from the Cheshire County League, with the two successful teams meeting in the final at 7.10pm.

And not only does the successful team get nationwide coverage on TV, but they also win an all expenses paid 2012 pre-season tour to Barbados and the chance to sample the sponsor’s famous products in idyllic surroundings!

The Ropery Lane club will be taking a fully fit squad to Chelmsford, the only player not able to play being Andrew Tye, who is ineligible under the competition rules. It’s quite a day in prospect as the Cestrians bid to emulate South North by putting a T20 national triumph alongside the 45-over national club championship on their CV.