Kibworth spurred on by final hurt
Kibworth skipper Andy Smith says the pain of losing last year's Cockspur Cup final is all the incentive they need ahead of tomorrow's showdown with Malden Wanderers.
Having lifted the trophy in 2004, the Leicestershire side could not replicate that winning feeling when they travelled to the home of cricket three years later, agonisingly falling just four runs short in a dramatic final against Bromley.
Smith was captain that day and does not want to be the first person in the competition's history to skipper a side to consecutive final defeats.
"To get so close and not win was horrible," Smith told ecb.co.uk. "We knew Bromley would be a good team - we recognised half their team from the team-sheet, that doesn't happen often in club cricket. But we should have won it.
"I don't want to think about losing two finals at Lord's."
Lord's is a special place for any cricketer but arguably more for those who do not believe they will ever get the opportunity to play there.
Kibworth's players are more fortunate than most - for some tomorrow will be their third appearance at cricket's most famous ground - but the novelty of playing at Lord's never wears thin.
"We are really excited," said Smith, who scored 47 not out and took two wickets in the 2004 victory. "Everyone is looking forward to the game. Our experience of playing there should give us a slight advantage, but Malden Wanderers have to be a good side to get to Lord's.
"I just want to win it. I don't really get carried away with the Lord's thing as there is a game to win. As captain you don't really have time to look at the names on the honours board as there is so much going on. I will look back on the day afterwards.
"It would be special to win it a second time. I'm not sure I could describe it. You don't ever expect to get this far - we thought 2004 was a freak. You start the season knowing the league is your bread and butter, but the further you get in the competition the more you want to get to Lord's. I have not thought how it would feel to win on Tuesday."
Kibworth have stumbled across the right blend for a successful limited-overs side - a few former county professionals, a sprinkling of youthful exuberance and a handful of wise old heads, including Russell Spiers who is in line to make his sixth Lord's final appearance.
"If you spell his surname like Britney he goes mad," joked Smith of Spiers, a slow-left armer who played for Staffordshire. "There is a nucleus of players who have been there in all three finals."