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Diocesan cricket team in semi-final

Date: 03 September 2011

Losing its captain half way through the season hasn’t stopped the Guildford Diocese Cricket Team reaching the final of the Church Times Cup for the third time in five years and on Thursday 8th they face Lichfield.

Team stalwart, the Revd Martin Sheldon of Lightwater, moved to a chaplaincy role in the RAF this summer but the diocesan team still triumphed at the semi-final against Manchester in July and is hoping to reclaim the trophy, last won in 2007, this September.

Temporary captain, the Revd George Newton of Holy Trinity, Aldershot, said: ”It has been a rain-affected season - the team got through the first regional rounds only actually playing one game!

“The quarter final was against London who had in their midst someone who had played first class cricket, but we had the advantage of playing at our lovely home ground, Normandy CC between Guildford and Ash, and managed to get them out for 135 through some solid bowling.

“The semi-final was in the grounds of Ragley Hall just outside Birmingham. On a hot day we won the toss and batted and openers Steve Gray and Moray Thomas each made a century, giving us a commanding total of 265 for four in our 45 overs.

“After losing a wicket in the first over, Manchester then made a good start as they put on over 150 in good time for their second wicket. But once one fell, there was a steady clatter of wickets, and we won by 77 runs.

“The final will be in Southgate on Thursday 8 September starting at 11am and supporters will be most welcome.

“As well as losing Martin, the semi-final was the last game for one of our stronger players, Dan Frith, who has moved to a new post in South Africa.

“But we are still hoping that our depth and experience will enable us to prevail against Lichfield in the final and enable us to hold the trophy for the second time.”

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