Clergy from the Diocese of Lichfield have embarked on their quest to retain the Church Times Cricket Cup – a trophy they won last year for the first time in the Cup’s 60 year history. The team made up of bishops, vicars and church workers throughout Staffordshire, the northern half of Shropshire and much of the Black Country is skippered by the Methodist Superintendent Minister of Stafford, the Revd Jeff Reynolds. He said:
“We have a strong squad for the 2011 season and we are going to have a real good attempt at retaining the Church Times Cup. No team has retained it since 1991 so it will be a great achievement if we could manage it. “There are some very difficult games ahead but the squad is in good form and looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Yesterday (May 9), in the first of the regional group stage matches, Lichfield beat Coventry by a margin of 194. In a rain interrupted game Coventry won the toss and decided to field. Lichfield got off to a good start with Jeff Reynolds and Bishop Clive Gregory (Wolverhampton) putting on 60 for the first wicket before Jeff Reynolds was out for 36. The Revd Paul Darlington (Vicar of Holy Trinity, Oswestry) soon followed for just eight.  This then brought in the Revd Peter Hart (Vicar of Cannock, Huntington and Hatherton) to partner Bishop Clive. They put on a magnificent partnership of nearly 200 before Clive was out for 108. Peter finished on 107 not out and Lichfield finished their forty overs on 287-3. In reply Coventry provided stubborn resistance but were all out in the 37th over for just 93 with all the bowlers taking wickets. Lichfield’s next match is at home (at Brewood Cricket Club) on May 16 when they take on Worcester. The remaining regional group matches are: at Gloucester on May 23 and at Birmingham on June 13).  The winners of the regional heats go through to the knock-out stage of the competition.