CHELTENHAM Civil Service are dreaming of a Lord’s final after reaching the last 16 of the ECB Indoor Six-a-side Club Championship.
A stunning 87-run home victory over Somerset champions Taunton Deane saw Civil Service through to the South West play-offs, at Taunton on Sunday.
And captain Callum Wilson is hoping his side can this year go one better and qualify as regional champions for a memorable day out at the home of cricket.
Callum said: “We’ve been through to this stage four or five times now and last year managed to win our first match only to then be beaten in the final.
“This could finally be the year to go one step further … getting to Lord’s would be fantastic.”
The fine win over Taunton Deane saw Civil Service rattle up an imposing 136-3 from their 12 overs, opener George Leadbetter top scoring on 33 from 20 before Craig Baker (26) and Brad Attwood (25) made hay before retiring.
Deane, in reply, were then rumbled for only 49 in less than eight overs, Callum capturing 1-10 from his three overs while Civil Service’s alert fielding clinched four run outs.
Cricket’s laws have been adapted for the indoor version of the sport to include scoring six for a ball struck direct to the boundary wall behind the bowler and one for a ball that hits the ceiling or one or more of the side or back walls.
Batters retire on reaching 25 but return to the crease when the fifth wicket falls.
Bowlers are allowed a maximum of three overs apiece, while players must get to grips with a special indoor ball which Callum describes as “something between a hockey and cricket ball which can really swing when brand new.”
He added: “We love playing indoors, for many years we’ve had a side in the Gloucestershire League which is pretty strong … it’s very different to being outside and the games are very fast-paced, an hour at the most.
“Does it help us when we start going outdoors again? Almost certainly not! I find myself playing these weird shots that work well indoors but not so well when it comes to being on grass!”
Civil Service’s regional semi-final will be against Ventnor, of the Isle of Wight, with the winners facing Bournemouth or Neyland, of Pembrokeshire, for a place in the grand final at Lord’s later this month.
Cheltenham Civil Service, back row, left to right: Ben Gaskin, George Leadbetter, Brad Attwood, Craig Baker, Mike Turner (scorer). Front: Steve Bridge, Robbie Baker, Callum Wilson.