Express & Star

Joy for Milford Hall in first Lord’s final

It was a historic day for Milford Hall Cricket Club as they won their first-ever Voneus Village Cup title at the Home of Cricket.


On the club’s first-ever visit to the Lord’s, they defended their below-par total of 139 to win by 10 runs against Leeds & Broomfield Cricket Club from Kent in a nail-biting final.

Aaron Afford starred for Milford with his 4-19 from his eight overs, putting in a man-of-the-match display, which triggered wild scenes of celebration in front of the famous Lord’s pavilion with more than 600 fans travelling from Staffordshire.

Dan Betty, captain of the club, described the experience as ‘surreal’ saying it is a special moment to share with family and friends.

He said: “To share it with my own family and friends, and for them to all be involved and go through it with us is great.

“We are club cricketers, we come and watch at these places, we don’t get to play, we don’t get to go in the changing rooms so it is just completely crazy to win. I have enjoyed every single minute of it.”


With not a cloud in the sky and the sun baking down on the scenic Home of Cricket, Milford skipper Betty elected to bat first.

But on a pitch with a tinge of green, they were soon in trouble at 36-5, with the Leeds & Broomfield’s bowlers getting the ball to swing and nip.

Their opponents held some excellent catches, including a screamer taken by Alex Czabaniuk to dismiss Milford’s man in form, Dominic Afford.

Milford’s second-team captain, Mark Thompson, led the response with a gutsy 32 off 71 balls, and he was well supported by Harry Flowers, who came out and counter-attacked making 24 off 15 balls to add some impetus to the innings.

They would perhaps have been disappointed at the halfway stage with a total of 139 all out, but in a run chase in a final anything can happen – they just needed a good start.

And that was exactly what they got as Chris Dean struck in the first over before Aaron Afford picked up a wicket with his first ball to reduce Leeds & Broomfield to 7-2.

Afford excelled on the big stage, and with 600 Milford Hall fans roaring him on, the left-arm spinner bowled superbly, finishing with figures of 4-19 from 8 overs.

From 47-6, Leeds & Broomfield seemed out of it, but a partnership of 77 between Czabaniuk (46) and James Mitchinson (39) made it a tight finish.

But they stuck at it, picked up vital wickets at big moments and most important of all they caught their catches as they bowled their opponents out for 129 to win by 10 runs.