Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chester-le-Street Aiming to Make More Than Just an Appearance at Oval

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chester-le-Street Aiming to Make More Than Just an Appearance at Oval

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Cricket Writer stuart.rayner@ncjmedia.co.uk

CHESTER?LE?STREET are "serial offenders" when it comes to the National Club Twenty20 Finals Day. Now the time has come to convert experience into silverware.

The Cestrians take on Ormskirk in the second semi-final at The Oval today, knowing which side from Banbury and holders Wimbledon await the winners.

While Banbury and Liverpool and District side Ormskirk are new to the televised showpiece, this will be Chester-le-Street's third consecutive appearance. The previous two, though, have been major disappointments.

Last year they were beaten by Northern in the semi-finals. In 2011 they suffered a ten-wicket defeat to Ealing in the final.

"We're serial offenders!" jokes chairman Keith Robson.

"We sort of know what to expect from it now. We did okay the first time but last year we just didn't perform at all. The batsmen know they've got to get more runs, and the bowlers know they've got to take more wickets.

"I suppose a big occasion like that can make people freeze a little bit but we've been to Essex and Edgbaston in the last couple of years, so going to The Oval shouldn't be too much of a problem for us. We're used to it and we're familiar with that sort of atmosphere."

Consistency is difficult to find in Twenty20 cricket, but at regional level at least Chester-le-Street seem to have cracked it.

"Quentin (Hughes) has captained the side well, (Andrew) Smith and (Simon) Birtwisle have done very, very well, (Andrew) Bell has bowled well and (David) Foster the spinner too. Everyone's pulled together. Everyone's made a contribution. "We've got a good team spirit and we're a good fielding side.

"We just happen to be a very good Twenty20 side. We've won the Premier League competition for the last three years and we just seem to rise to the occasion. …

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