Main won by 21 runs at Worcestershire club Astwood Bank on Sunday – inspired by a Simon Ward hundred – to set up a final on September 15 against Hertfordshire side Reed CC. The population of Great Houghton could fit into the 30,000 stadium – which hosted a World Cup final last month – more than ten times over and the club is hoping to take hundreds of supporters. A total of 426 sides entered the competition, which is available to clubs in villages with a population of 3,000 or fewer. Houghton won the cup in 2006 and are hoping to do so again.
Captain Michael Brown said: “What a great day. Everyone associated with Houghton Main CC is buzzing. It’s a fantastic achievement and it was a great team performance. I can’t wait to lead my team out at Lord’s.“Cricket is at the heart of the town with lots of cricket history and – with England winning the World Cup and hopefully the Ashes later this summer – what a great achievement for a small Barnsley club to be fighting it out at Lord’s for a national trophy. Hopefully we get great support on September 15 for a big day of cricket and we can bring the trophy back to Barnsley.”
On Sunday, Houghton batted first and saw opener Ward make a superb 103 off 109 balls with 12 fours and four sixes. Houghton reached 232 for six then restricted their hosts to 211 for nine with three wickets each for Biswick Kapala and Callum Honeyman.
Brown said: “Two coaches made their way down to Redditch and many also drove down to watch us – absolutely amazing support. Astwood put on a great day with a barbecue and great atmosphere. The Mayor of Redditch and I’m sure many more of this nature were there as part of the 700 crowd.
“We won the toss and elected to bat. Without a shadow of a doubt Simon Ward played the innings of his life, stepping up for the occasion with a superb century. That was the focal point of our innings. We thought we had made a competitive first innings score but we knew they were predominately a batting team and the wicket was very good. Their top order batters went hard and aggressive at us and looked very good.
“After about 15 overs we were completely on the back foot. A couple of critical wickets fell and we got back into the game but they kept scoring well. The game pretty much went down to the last few overs and the runrate crept up because they lost their main wickets. We eventually won by 21 runs playing a tough away fixture.”