David Banks insists Sarisbury Athletic can go all the way to claim a national title after sealing their final place at Lord’s.
The Allotment Road outfit’s six-man team came through their latest phase of the ECB Indoor National Club Championship at Taunton as they beat Southern Electric Premier League side South Wilts and then overcame much-fancied Bridgwater in the south & west regional final.
Sarisbury will now go up against the representatives from north, London & east and midlands sections on March 17 and are two wins away from the trophy.
Havant landed the crown in 2008, while Sarisbury skipper Banks won the same tournament with BAT back in 2006.
And he is keen to lead Athletic to a coveted national title.
Banks said: ‘We’ve got this far and I think we are as good as anyone. Of course we can win it.
‘We’re really chuffed. I won there with BAT and we got to two finals.
‘I never thought I would get to Lord’s again.’
After easing past South Wilts, Sarisbury faced a much-sterner challenge against Bridgwater in the regional final of the 12-overs-per-side format.
But Pete Hammond batted well to give them a total of 75, which they successfully defended to claim victory by 17 runs as the skipper led the way in the field, chipping in with two wickets, three catches and a run out.
Banks said: ‘We beat South Wilts easily in the first semi-final and then the final was a heck of a game.
‘We were five for two at one stage but then myself and Pete put on a few to get us up to 75.
‘Then they got off to a good start with 25 runs off the first three overs but we bowled them out for 58.’
Banks is now relishing a return to headquarters.
He said: ‘The Indoor School at Lord’s is phenomenal and the presentation afterwards is in the Long Room so it’s a great day and a fabulous place to be involved in playing any kind of cricket.
‘You get shown around and have a tour of the ground. But it’s more good recognition for the club. Now we want to go on and win it.’