It has already been a big year for Ormskirk CC. Early in the season the club opened new changing rooms and a hospitality suite which is already doing good business. Ever mindful of its traditions, however, Ormskirk has retained the old pavilion and members’ bar, where on winter evenings stalwarts such as Walter Armstrong and his mates gather to chew the fat.
But whatever changes have been made to the fabric of the club, nothing in certain respects will ever trump the Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks back when all three of the clubs’ teams won their leagues in the Liverpool Gin Liverpool Competition.
Whenever all three sides win their games, a happy hour is held in the bar, but one imagines that the players were scaling Mt Euphoria that evening, if not climbing up the Sunshine Mountain.
Unbelievable achievement this weekend @Ormskirk_CC all 3 teams winning there PL league on the same day 🏆🏆🏆💙💛— Nicky Caunce (@NickyTCaunce) 4 September 2017
“Ormskirk is a great club, one that is run by a group of fantastic individuals,” said first-team skipper Matt Glayzer. “We have a great junior set-up and we run two teams at every level from Under 11 to Under 17.”
And yet the desire to win the Royal London Club Championship is burned very deeply into the cricketing hearts of Glayzer and his players.
All the more so, of course, since they lost to South Northumberland in last year’s semi-final. On that afternoon at Roseworth Terrace, Ormskirk were shown what was required if they were to win the biggest prize in domestic club cricket.
Their appearance at Chelmsford is the next step in their development.
They have had enough of finishing second or third best. Losing, pluckily or not, is not what this squad of immensely talented cricketers is about.
“The players and I learned a lot from that game at South Northumberland about what we need to do in order to succeed.”
“We enter every competition to go as far as we can and we’ve reached the later rounds of the national knockout in other seasons but last year really gave us the sense that we can finish the job,” said Glayzer.
“The players and I learned a lot from that game at South Northumberland about what we need to do in order to succeed. Last year we were in the hunt for six trophies but won none of them.
“We’ve learned what we need to do not to fall away towards the end of a season.”
Ormskirk’s progress in league, county and national cups this summer has been assisted by the simple truth that the club possesses an immensely strong squad of players, all of whom are capable of playing first-team cricket. Absences caused by the occasional holiday, a family celebration or a visit to the planet IKEA can be accommodated.
The flip side of such riches is seen when everybody is available and three cricketers who would stroll into most other teams have to be left out.
“They are still good problems to have,” insists Glayzer. “There are always going to be difficult selection decisions to make but we have to make them and then I have to live by them.”
Like Wanstead and Snaresbook, Ormskirk also have players with experience of county cricket. Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan is ineligible for the final and Gavin Griffiths is now with Leicestershire in any case, but Nicky Caunce leads the attack and the players with some first-class miles on the clock have been able to tell the skipper about one or two of the Wanstead team.
“We know they’ll be strong,” said Glayzer, omitting to say, because he does not need to, that Ormskirk will be strong as well.