Familiar foes face-off in all-Guernsey CI final
The Channel Island League title will be back in the hands of a Guernsey side tomorrow afternoon as Cobo and Griffins go head-to-head in the final at the KGV.
Tom Kirk’s Griffins looked to be down and out midway through the group stages but an impressive turnaround in recent weeks saw them finish top thanks to their net run-rate.
Cobo, who also finished on eight points, have impressed throughout the round-robin stage, but will have to bounce back after losing badly to Old Victorians at the weekend.
Josh Butler and Zak Damarell will both be back in the Cobo side for the final after missing the game against OVs, although Ben Ferbrache remains unavailable as he travels to Austria with the women’s team.
St Ouen Springfield won the CI League the last time it was held back in 2019, and appeared firm favourites to finish in the top two, but both of tomorrow’s finalists beat them to see them finish third.
Cobo were victorious in the 50-over Weekend Championship competition earlier in the summer, beating Griffins by five runs in the final game.
Tom Veillard’s men also won the clash between the teams in the CI group stage, winning by six runs.
‘It has all come together for us so far this season, I have loved seeing us getting better and better,’ said Cobo all-rounder Will Peatfield, who is the leading wicket-taker in the CI League in 2023.
‘The last couple of years have not been the best for us, but we have gone up a few gears and the spirit both on and off the field has been brilliant.’
Peatfield has the chance to secure a domestic clean sweep tomorrow after winning Evening League One and the 80-ball warm up tournament with Indies, as well as the Weekend Championship.
‘Playing for Cobo and Indies this year has been great, as both teams have been as good as each other, and getting the CI League back has been huge,’ he said.
‘I always want the chance to test myself against top players and to get to play against a variety of different players.
‘It has gone pretty well from a personal standpoint, although I think I have had a bit of luck. Hopefully I can take that into the final.
‘I cannot wait to play this game, it will be a real culmination to our hard work this year.
‘Winning it would be amazing – I have done it once with Cobo before and it’s an incredible feeling.
‘It is a very difficult game to call, though, as both teams have different strengths.
‘They have such a good bowling attack while we have a fantastic batting line-up.
‘Something they have had over us in the last few years is the ability to win games from losing positions, while I think we’ve done the opposite, but we have got that out of our systems now and we are confident.’
Griffins come into the final off the back of a convincing win over Walkovers at KGV to secure a top-two finish, which saw the in-form Matt Philp score another 50 to help his side towards a strong total.
‘We have had a lot of lows this year compared to normal, but we have bounced back very well in recent weeks and been more like the Griffins of the last couple of seasons,’ said Philp, who is behind only Adam Martel in runs scored for Griffins in the CI tournament.
‘It’s been nice to pick up some form, especially since we are without Luke Le Tissier for the foreseeable future which has meant people have needed to step up.
‘I am really enjoying it out there at the moment. It has not always been pretty, but I have dug in pretty well to help keep us in games at times and I hope to continue it in the final.
‘We’re all so buzzing for the game – it’s a chance for us to make history and win the CI League for the first time ever.
‘I’m happy it is Cobo we’re playing because we know what we’re up against. I also think that we owe them one after they beat us in the Weekend Championship.
‘In a final form goes out the window, it’s a one-off game and we have a lot of confidence.’
Griffins team manager Rob Thomson also discussed his side’s chances going into tomorrow’s final.
‘We are very excited, it is bound to be a tight game but we will give it everything to try to win.
‘Both sides are going to be very strong on the day, and it’s amazing for Guernsey cricket to have two local teams in the final.
‘It’s brilliant for the fans, too, to get the game back on our shores and hopefully we’ll see a good turnout at KGV.
‘The final has really crept up on us as we were having such a terrible season, and then when the pressure was off we managed to build some momentum and got to this point.
‘That period of losing so many in a row was a disaster, but the bounce back has been pleasing.
‘We know that we are not the sort of team that’s going to set a ridiculously huge total, that just is not the way we play.
‘We’re happy when we get 220-odd, because we have the best opening bowlers in the island who always get us off to a great start.
‘One more win now makes this season a success for us.’
The final starts at 11am on Saturday at the KGV