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Sandwich Town captain Craig Spanton leads from the front as his side moves step closer to playing in indoor finals at Lord's

Craig Spanton played for Sandwich Town in the ECB Indoor National Club Championship finals at Lord’s back in 1995.

Now he finds himself just two games away from doing the same again after Sandwich, the Kent champions, won through to next month’s East Regional final.

And Spanton, the Sandwich captain, played a leading role in ensuring his side qualified as they beat Sussex champions Preston Nomads at the Ames Levett Indoor School, Canterbury.

Spanton scored a hard-hitting 26 not out as Sandwich posted 125-3 after being 23-2 at one stage.

Young Kent wicketkeeper Ryan Davies (25), Tom Chapman (28 not out) and Chris Hodgson (16) also made valuable contributions. Preston Nomads could only manage 86 in reply.

The draw for the regional final, which will be played at Canterbury on March 1, was made on Tuesday and Sandwich will play Berkshire side Theale & Tilehurst in the first semi-final.

South Woodford (Essex) will play Sarisbury Athletic (Hampshire) in the other semi-final.

The winner of the final will progress to the national finals which are being held at Lord’s on March 15.

Kent Indoor Cricket League County champions Sandwich Town
Kent Indoor Cricket League County champions Sandwich Town

Spanton, who was a member of the Sandwich side which lost in the semi-finals at Lord’s 20 years ago, admitted he didn’t waste any time doing some research on Theale & Tilehurst.

He said: “Soon as I got the draw I was on social media and the web to see what they (Theale & Tilehurst) are all about.

“But looking at stats is one thing, it’s what happens in the match which really counts.

“These games are so short and anything can happen. That means you’ve got to be on your game from the start if you want to be successful at it.”

But apart from being talented at the short version of the game, what is the key to Spanton’s side enjoying a good run in the competition this season?

Spanton said: “We enjoy playing it. We only play it for a bit of fun to keep us going until the cricket season starts again.”

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