Former Chorley cricketer Josh Tolley has spoken of the best day of his sporting life after winning the Permisson Village Cup final at Lord’s on Sunday.
The 20-year-old, who still lives in Chorley, smashed 36 for his new club Woodhouses.
A crowd of around 1,000 watched the game, which was also filmed by Sky TV for a feature during Saturday’s One Day international between England and India.
Heavy rain meant the game against Sussex side Rottingdean was reduced to 10 overs-a-side but that didn’t prevent Tolley fulfilling a boyhood dream to play at the home of English cricket.
Watched on by proud parents Alison and Jerry, he said he almost had to pinch himself at one point.
“It was such a surreal feeling as I was walking through the Long Room and thinking of all the great players who have gone before me,” he said. “I also looked at the famous Honours Board, with all the names of players who have got a Test match 100 or taken five wickets.
“It has made me more desperate than ever to ensure Sunday wasn’t a one-off.”
However Tolley didn’t let the occasion get to him as he shared a partnership of 83 with 17-year-old Nick Doyle.
At one time, it looked as though the rain would prevent the game taking place at all.
“It was very frustrating,” admitted the No3 batsman.
“We weren’t sure whether we were going to get a game.
“We came out for a second time, but it started to rain again before a ball was bowled.
“We’re a team that prefers the longer version of the game, to build an innings.
“It was a bit of a weight off my shoulders, though, knowing it was a 10-over game.
“Anything can happen then, you just go out and play your shots.”
Rottingdean won the toss and elected to bowl, but the youthful Woodhouses batsmen took advantage of one short boundary.
Tolley, who has scored 1,600 runs in all competitions, showed why he is the competition’s top scorer, and even managed a leg-side six.
“The atmosphere was great,” he said.
“There was a short boundary and all the crowd were on the short side, so you could hear everything.”
Rottingdean could only muster 54-8 from their 10 overs in reply, to hand Tolley’s team a 58-run win.
Tolley recently attended a training session with Derbyshire, and is thinking about spending another winter playing club cricket in Australia.