FORTY YEARS on from their first appearance in at Lord’s, Sessay Cricket Club continued Yorkshire’s rich tradition in the Davidstow National Village Cup by lifting the trophy for a second time in seven years yesterday.
Sessay became Yorkshire’s 10th winner in the competition’s 45-year history today following the success of four-time winners Woodhouse Grange who won in 2014 and 2015.
Out of 300 teams that entered, Sessay was the last team standing having progressed through eight rounds and crowning the glory in a comfortable win at Lord’s over Kent-based side Sibton Park by 119 runs.
More than 200 supporters of the North Yorkshire club made the journey to the capital and cheered every run compiled by their record-breaking side, who play in the York and District Senior League.
The team first won the trophy in 2010 having first made the final of the Sunday competition in its fifth year in 1976.
Club captain Mark Wilkie said: “This is what dreams are made of, playing at Lord’s and winning it again.
“This is what we wanted to do and we are absolutely delighted to have done it.
It’s been a long hard slog, we have travelled a lot of miles in this competition.
“We couldn’t be more happy.”
Simon Mason, who runs a gardening company in Thirsk, scored a century to lead Sessay to the highest score in a Village Cup final of 307/5. Sibton Park were bowled out for 188 in reply.
Mr Mason matched a feat of legendary cricketer Viv Richards as he struck 138 runs in a Lord’s final.
Richards had made the same score for the West Indies in the 1977 World Cup final on the same ground, understood to be joint-highest score in cup finals at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
“Wow, that’s something isn’t it? I’m lost for words,” Mr Mason said.
“To get 138, I couldn’t have dreamed it. It’s every cricketers’ dream to play at Lord’s let alone score a hundred.”
Sessay’s team of amateur cricketers, which consisted of a farmer, a health and safety officer and an accountant, had travelled more than 1,000 miles in their cup run.
The team celebrated on Sunday night with a meal in the world famous long room at Lord’s where club president Brian Watkinson, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was presented to the players by son Ian.
“He has had a good experience and has loved it,” said Ian, who sponsors the club.
“The club’s big in my heart and has been my whole life. This something we have aimed for for a long time. We are all very proud of them.”
Amid pressures on cricket clubs around Yorkshire due to falling participation, Mr Wilkie said the club’s triumph could escalate playing levels in junior ranks across the county.
Mr Wilkie, whose wife was unable to attend the final and followed updates from North Yorkshire, added: “We’re a small village but we have a big junior section and loads of young lads coming through.
“It’s a really family environment club and everyone loves the Village Cup.
“It’s been special since we got to the final here in 1976.
“It just creates interest and brings people to the club. It’s really good for the Yorkshire environment.
“Yorkshire is a strong county for cricket and this puts it on the map. It might just make one or two pick up a bat and want to do this themselves.”