Not a dry eye in the house
Malden Wanderers chairman Jonathan Marks expects tears of joy should his side lift the Cockspur Cup at Lord's on Tuesday.
There were quivering lips and glazed eyes when the Surrey side beat Waltham in the semi-final to book their first ever trip to the home of cricket and Marks says emotions will be running high when the team walk out on the hallowed turf to meet Kibworth.
"I will be a wreck with emotion tomorrow," Marks told ecb.co.uk. "We are so proud of what they have achieved and now we have the biggest match in the club's history
"After the semi-final with Waltham there were a few players and spectators who had tears in their eyes. It meant that much to them. They realised the magnitude of what they had done. It'll be a huge moment for them, walking out at Lord's representing their club."
Compared with Kibworth, who will line up in their third final in five years, Malden Wanderers are novices when it comes to playing at Lord's.
However, they have all the ingredients to make their first trip to Lord's a victorious one.
Led by the inventive Giles Puckle, Malden Wanderers are chock-full of batters, including Laurie Evans whose hundred against Havant was described by Marks as 'one of the best club innings' he has ever seen. They also have match-winning spinners in Puckle and Simon Crampton and are excellent in the field.
"They have a never-say-die attitude," said Marks. "They always believe that someone is going to produce something, without wanting to actually leave it to anyone else. They are a young side who are athletic in the field - that's how the game is now.
"Giles' captaincy this season has been something else. He has backed his instincts, has brought on spinners in the first 15 overs, always seems to have fielders in the right place and listens to the other players. He has been superb.
"He had a knee injury a few years ago and there were doubts he would come back the same bowler he was. He worked hard and it's good that those memories can be banished."
While Marks is determined to make the most of the occasion, he knows the day will be even more special should the trophy be on its way to Malden tomorrow night.
"It's great to be there but we want to win it," he said. "It's a great competition and it would be great to get our name on the trophy.
"I think both teams have an even chance of winning it. Kibworth will have looked at our results, we have looked at their results. Kibworth were there last year and in 2004 so they will have more experience of playing at Lord's. You don't know whether that will be an advantage or not."