CRICKET: Phillips eyes up Oval trip as spur for Banbury bid

The Oxford Times: Banbury skipper Jimmy Phillips has set his sights on beating Peterborough Town to earn a trip to the Kia Oval for the national final Banbury skipper Jimmy Phillips has set his sights on beating Peterborough Town to earn a trip to the Kia Oval for the national final

ECB National Club Twenty20

Captain Jimmy Phillips is hoping that the incentive of playing at the Kia Oval can spur his Banbury side on when they visit Peterborough Town in the regional final on Sunday.

The prize for the winners is a place alongside the three other sides to emerge victorious from the quarter-finals at Surrey’s home ground on Friday, September 13 when the finals will be screened live on Sky Sports.

Phillips said: “We are really looking forward to it. It is a big game and a big occasion.

“Games like this are why we train twice a week and what we get up at 6.30 on a Saturday morning for.

“It is the furthest that any of our senior teams have got in a national competition.

“It is something to be proud of and having got this close, we want to go to the finals and see what we can do against the three best sides in the country.

“The fact that it is on Sky is nice. Some of the more vain lads are already planning their haircuts, but for me, it would be nice to play at the Oval.

“It is a place where we have seen the Ashes won on TV and to get that far would be great.

“I know some of the local sides have played at Lord’s in the Village Cup, and I have always thought what a great achievement it was, and that is a great carrot as well.”

Banbury reached the last eight by defeating Ealing and then Brentwood in the south east area finals, and Phillips believes the displays they produced that day will stand them in good stead.

He added: “I think Ealing are always one of the favourites in the competition from the word go, so that was a huge scalp and Brentwood were also a good side and we beat them both with two excellent performances.

“If we perform on the day then we will not have any problems at all, but anything can happen in Twenty20.

“I would say it is pretty even going into the game, but we have got to make sure we focus and execute our skills.”

Phillips admits Banbury knew very little about their opponents in the last round, but this time they have a little more idea what to expect.

Peterborough, the reigning North-ants Cricket League Premier Division champions, include a familiar face in former Oxfordshire and Oxford University off-spinner Paul McMahon.

Phillips added: “We know a little bit more about how they will set up in comparison with Ealing and Brentwood where we knew next to nothing.

“I am sure they will have a huge crowd. That is an advantage to them, but you don’t win a game because you have got a PA system and people watching, it is how you perform on the day.”

Banbury add Ed Phillips, who has recovered from a broken thumb, and Chris Thompson to the XI which triumphed in the last round.

Banbury: from Sabin, Haupt, Hawkes, Tew, Cater, West, Lambden, Ryan, Blanchard, Wright, J Phillips (capt), E Phillips, Thompson.

REGIONAL FINALS

Wimbledon v Frocester, Peterborough Tn v Banbury, Chester le Street v Pudsey Congs, Ormskirk v Hyde.

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