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Record on the cards for Worly

TOP PERFORMANCE: Village Cup captain Graham Ford is delighted to make Round Six (Picture: Mark Westley)
TOP PERFORMANCE: Village Cup captain Graham Ford is delighted to make Round Six (Picture: Mark Westley)

Worlington’s National Village Cup captain Graham Ford is aware the club are on the verge of history, as they equal their best ever finish.

He has said there is a ‘great vibe’ at the club following their 38-run victory over Langleybury on Sunday.

Worly (270-4) beat the Hertfordshire side (232) at home in round five of the annual competition run by The Cricketer – which sees about 300 clubs from villages all over the country battle for the chance to play in the final at Lord’s Cricket Ground on September 16.

The victory, helped by an important ton from Craig Estlea, sees the village side equal their best ever finish, accomplished back in 2015, according to Ford.

They will go on to host Foxton – the overall runners-up in 2015 – in round six on Sunday, July 8 at home, as they vie to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time.

And it is a game the whole club are eagerly anticipating as they enjoy the competition.

“It’s been really good,” Ford said. “We’ve put in some great team performances and we’ve just been enjoying it.

“And Craig (Estlea) had a brilliant day, he was our star performer.

“There was also a really good crowd along, including two guys from Buckinghamshire who just wanted to watch, they had nothing invested in the result but still wanted to be involved.

“There’s just a great vibe at the club right now, everyone’s loving their cricket and the results are showing that.

“The Village Cup is also a national competition and there’s a historical element to it – and a chance to play a competitive game at Lord’s.

“So there’s a lot of interest both on and off the pitch.”

Winning the toss, Ford chose to bat first on the scorching Sunday – with Estlea and Ziaf Kulasi (16) hitting more than a run a ball from the opening spots.

Jimmy Watson (55) and Daren Hayward (23) added crucial runs, while an unbeaten 60 from skipper Ford brought Worly to a total of 270 runs.

In reply, the visitors found themselves in trouble at 39-3, but recovered to 124-5 before going on to set up a tense ending from 230-9.

But the fielders did enough to hold off the tail end, as they wrapped up a historic victory for the side.

Matthew Wittish, Kulasi and Estlea each picked up two wickets apiece alongside the one-wicket efforts of Steven Flack, Watson, and Hayward.

Ford added that the positive atmosphere at the club was having an impact on the Saturday side’s performance, as they sit at the top of Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship ahead of the halfway point on Saturday.

They will host bottom-of-the-table Elmstead (1pm) as they look to extend their winning run to seven matches.

Win number six came last Saturday as they hosted third-placed Halstead, recording a comfortable 89-run victory.

Worly (263-7) won the toss and posted a great target before bowling Halstead all out for 174.

Ford top scored with 72, helped by an unbeaten 51 from Hayward, while Charlie Tunstall (4-55) had the best bowling figures.

Ford said the club was enjoying their commanding position in the division.

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