Family affair in Cockspur Cup final
Barnt Green from the Birmingham League and Sussex-based Horsham will go head to head in the Cockspur Cup Final at Lord’s on August 23.
They will be playing for the right to take away the £6,000 winners prize money as well as 14 complimentary places on this year's Rumsey Pro Am Cricket Festival in Barbados, from November 11-26.
The Pro Am's itinerary this year will be hosted by a host of former Test stars including Phil De Freitas, Darren Gough, Jason Galian, Nick Knight, David Capel, Bill Athey, Robert Croft and Mark Ramprakash.
This year's final will be a family affair – and dominated by three families in particular.
The match will feature former Worcestershire and England slow left armer Richard Illingworth (left) and his 17-year-old son Miles playing for Barnt Green.
Horsham's team, representing the Sussex Premier League and skippered by 24-year-old Luke Marshall, will contain identical twins Paul and Craig Gallagher plus brothers Chris and Mark Nash.
Marshall's team, averaging a lean 24 years of age, will be looking to lift the Cockspur Cup for the first time in their history.
Horsham's U15 team have already reached the ECB's Portman Building Society U15 National Club Championship, where they were eventual runners up to Bournemouth. And Marshall puts the success of this year's run to the final down to an outstanding colts set-up at the club for a number of years.
The system has been responsible for producing the likes of run machine and former Loughborough student Chris Nash recently, contracted to Sussex, and 17-year-old Michael Thornley, who is also playing for Sussex's 2nd XI.
Barnt Green's record in the competition over the last five years has been second to none, only lacking the final push to Lord’s. Losing quarter-finalists to eventual winners Kibworth last year they appeared in the final at Edgbaston in 2002, losing to Saffron Walden.
Currently top of the powerful Birmingham League they will be looking to secure a unique league and cup double.
Illingworth has only just finished umpiring Middlesex and Sussex's Frizzell County Championship game at Lord’s and will also be playing in the Minor Counties Final for Wiltshire on Monday at Lord’s.
In his last season as a club cricketer before being admitted to the ECB's umpire panel Illingworth will spearhead a team as well as overseeing his son's spell of nine overs in the 45 over contest.
Cockspur's guests on the day will include former West Indies captain Richie Richardson, former England captain Mike Gatting and Surrey's captain and beneficiary Mark Butcher.