Cricket: Knypersley look for Staffordshire Cup success
KNYPERSLEY captain Jonathon Cumberbatch is hoping it's third time lucky for his side on the silverware trail.
The Tunstall Road club head to Walsall for the Staffordshire Cup final on Sunday, having seen their bid for league and Twenty20 titles fall by the wayside.
Last weekend's surprise defeat by Burslem knocked them out of the race for the Premier Division crown, while they lost by 14 runs to Longton in the Twenty20 final.
But Cumberbatch wants to wind up the campaign with a trophy to bring back up the M6.
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"We were disappointed with how our league challenge ended with a poor performance at Burslem," he said.
"But after being on a fantastic run, we were perhaps due a defeat.
"It's last-chance saloon for us in terms of silverware after missing out on the Twenty20 title, but we're looking forward to going to Walsall and playing some good cricket.
"Reaching two finals in the same season is a great achievement for us, especially with a young team.
"And it also means the last weekend means something to us, rather than it being a non-entity.
"Hopefully we can pick up a positive result in the league against Hem Heath tomorrow and be full of confidence for Sunday."
Knypersley, who won the competition for the first time in 2010, have been used to clocking up the miles this season.
Trips to Tamworth, Himley, Stone and Old Hill have already been ticked off en route to their showdown with another Birmingham League side.
"We're heading a bit into the unknown against Walsall, although Paul Goodwin (Staffordshire captain) knows a few of their lads," added Cumberbatch.
"Our draw has been tough and if we do manage to win, we'll deserve to and will have done it the hard way.
"Hopefully we can finish the season on a high note. It would be good to go down there, get into them early and bring home the trophy."
Knypersley are at full strength for the final, with wicketkeeper Goodwin fit to play after suffering an eye injury in last weekend's defeat to Burslem.
The county skipper was struck by the ball and required hospital treatment to glue the injury.
Walsall have some familiar faces in their side, with Staffordshire batsman Tim Maxfield, paceman Josh Bowker and left-arm spinner Paul Byrne in their line-up.
They are missing South African batsman Christiaan Jonker, who has returned home, and the injured Jack Manuel.
Walsall are currently top of the Birmingham League Premier Division, with a four-point lead over Himley, heading into the final two matches of the season.
Their route to the final has seen them beat Wolverhampton 5-4 in a bowl-off, Milford Hall by six wickets and North Staffs and South Cheshire League side Moddershall by 20 runs after receiving a bye in the first round.