Final four prepare for Lord's
The first title to be decided of the 2009 season will see new winners crowned when the ECB Indoor Six-a-Side Championship takes place at Lord's on March 15.
The four sides to have made it through to the National Finals in the MCC's Indoor School - Bridgwater CC, Preston Nomads CC, Sheffield Hallam University CC, Stockton CC - have never won the event between them in its 33-year history.
The first semi-final will see Bridgwater from Somerset take on Sheffield Hallam at noon, with the winners taking on the victors from the 1.15pm showdown between Sussex's Preston Nomads and Warwickshire's Stockton. The final starts at 3pm.
Bridgwater Cricket Club was formed in 1837 but has played at The Parks since 1925. They were founder members of the Somerset League in 1973 and the West of England Premier League in 2000, when they won the Somerset Division.
They were the WEPL Club of the Year in 2005, when both 1st and 2nd X1s won the Bristol and Somerset Divisions unbeaten and in 2006 were WEPL Team of the Year, when the 1st X1 won back to back promotions to Premier 1, where they remain. The Club have been Somerset Indoor Champions for six of the last seven seasons and skipper Andy Hallaran and veteran ‘keeper Stu Standerwick have played in all those teams.
They have played in several Regional Playoffs but this is their first appearance in the National Finals.
Preston Nomads CC
Preston Nomads CC was founded in Brighton in 1927 by the late Spen Cama. The club moved to its present ground in 1937 which is one of the most picturesque in the country enjoying spectacular views over the South Downs.
The club had extensive national coverage when it hosted the Bunbury Festival for the top U15 players in the country in 2006.
Preston Nomads was a founder member of the Sussex Cricket League and won the Championship in 2008. With four Saturday teams, a Sunday side and a Colts section of 170 the club is thriving with a large pool of home grown talent making its way from the junior ranks in to the 1st and 2nd XI’s.
The club has close links, due in no small part to their founder, to Sussex County Cricket Club. Indeed both clubs and Sussex cricket in general have benefited greatly from the financial legacy left by Mr Cama.
Sheffield Hallam University CC
Sheffield Hallam University Cricket Club is making its debut at the National Finals this year after a very successful run to the final which has seen them only lose once in all fixtures including league and cup. What makes this a special feat by this club is the fact that they have to form a new team every season.
So the fact the team has been so successful is a glowing tribute to both the seasoned players and the freshers who have gelled so well into a highly competitive unit. They have reached the semi-final stage of the British Universities Indoor Championships (BUSA) for the last five years reaching the final on two occasions most recently in 2008 and
this became the first university ever to have a 2nd team reach the semi-final stage.
This season was also a first for Sheffield Hallam as they raised the Sheffield
Indoor League Crown having only lost one game, the first one, and have successfully won through the Yorkshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire and Northern rounds to feature at Lord's.
The village of Stockton lies in south east Warwickshire close to the border of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. The village Football and Cricket Club was founded in 1976 and has been going from strength to strength in recent years.
The cricket side play in the Warwickshire League Division 1, but have their sights set on the Premier League and further progression onto the Birmingham League. In 2005 Stockton CC entered the npower National Village Cup for the first time and had a superb run losing out in the quarter-finals this also led to a guest appearance on Sky TV’s Cricket AM show at the start of the 2007 season.
Having dominated the Rugby and District indoor league recently, they entered the Warwickshire indoor league at Edgbaston in 2008 making the finals at their first attempt. They won the Midlands title this season after defeating Little Stoke of the Birmingham League in the semi- inals and Godmanchester Town of the East Anglian Premier League in the final.
You can download the finals day programme as a PDF below: