Spencer hope to end in style
A season of severe disappointment could yet end in unheralded glory for Spencer CC this weekend.
The side from south-west London were relegated from the ECB Surrey Championship Premier League this summer after two seasons in the top division.
But there will be plenty of reason for cheer if they can beat Chester-le-Street CC in the final of the ECB National Club Championship at Derby.
It is the club’s first appearance in the national final, with their previous best being a semi-final in 1975, and success would represent a massive achievement.
But it will be tough, as Chester-le-Street represent formidable opponents and will go into the match as favourites, having won the North East League this season.
Chester-le-Street overcame Shrewsbury CC at London Road, Shrewsbury, to qualify for the final, posting a daunting 319 for six off 45 overs, which proved too much for their opponents, who finished on 279 for nine.
But it is as underdogs that Neil Baker’s side have thrived during their cup run with victories over Bromley and Bath in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.
And it is in the guise that captain Baker believes his team can claim yet another big scalp.
“We’re excited,” he told ecb.co.uk. “Chester-le-street won the North East league and are probably the favourites.
“But we’ve been underdogs in the past three rounds so we have quite enjoyed that because you can go out there and there is less pressure on you.”
Spencer have particularly impressed in batting second and chasing down totals, tactics they could well adopt again on Saturday.
“In the cup run we have managed to chase scores quite well,” said Baker. “We’ve bowled well and managed to chase the scores and get the runs. To put them in first would be our preference.
“I’m not sure what their game plan is, but that has worked well for us in the past three rounds. We would be happy to set a score as well but chasing is something that has worked well for us.”