Cup hero Andrew Whaley has paid tribute to Dearne CC’s spirit, after they won the ECB’s Indoor National Club Championship at Lord’s on Sunday.
Dearne overcame two-time finalists Bridgwater to win the competition, having earlier beaten Welsh side Neyland in the semi-final at the home of cricket.
“It was an amazing day, and we certainly enjoyed it - on and off the field!” Whaley told the Times.
“We thought it was important that we made the most of the day, as we may never get to play at Lord’s again in our lives.
“We’ll be giving everything to make sure we do, of course, but we played like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Local cricket is full of ill-discipline and teams falling out, but we don’t have any of that. We play hard but with respect, and share a beer together afterwards.
“That’s not always how it is, but that is always how it should be.”
Whaley scored 28 not out with the bat as Dearne, led by captain Nick Dymock’s 41, posted a mammoth 166-5 off their 12 overs in the semi-final.
A shellshocked Neyland never got close, and were bowled out for 114. The final was a tighter affair, Dearne posting 120-5 and taking victory by just five runs.
“In six-a-side cricket, there are no hiding places but it is nice that everyone contributed in some way,” Whaley added.
“Joe Cooper, for example, scored a duck in the final but then contributed with the ball, and wicketkeeper Liam Mitchell is always involved in the field before scoring some vital runs.
“We are a solid, experienced indoor side and we’re looking forward to hopefully coming back to Lord’s next season!”
Before then, however, there is the small matter of the outdoor season, which begins on April 19 against Oughtibridge at Furlong Road.
“Outdoor cricket is a different game to indoor cricket, there are different skills and a different mindset,” Whaley continued.
“But the basics remain the same, like getting bat on ball, and this has given us a vigour and an enthusiasm.
“We can’t wait for it now. This run has tided us over nicely for the start of the outdoor season, and hopefully we can all hit the ground running.”