RICHMOND yesterday eased into the final of the ECB National Knockout Cup, skipper Gary Pratt leading the way as they won by seven wickets at home to Northern CC from Crosby, Merseyside.

Club president Randall Orchard said: "This is a very proud moment. We have come a long way since our village cricket days and most of this team are young local lads."

The final is to be held at the Gloucestershire county ground in Bristol, but first Richmond will try to add the Kerridge Cup to the trophies they have already won this season. They play Middlesbrough at Northallerton next Sunday.

While the other bowlers kept it tight, the Crosby batsmen tried to get after Pratt's off breaks and handed him three wickets as they were dismissed for 135 with two of their 40 overs unused.

They then opened the bowling with two left-arm spinners, who conceded only ten runs in the first eight overs. Robert Carr lost patience and drove to mid-off then Matthew McKiernan, who scored a century off 30 balls in the quarter-final, also fell cheaply.

But Mike Layfield contributed 58 to a stand of 116 with Pratt before he fell going for the winning hit. Pratt batted through the innings for an unbeaten 55 as victory was achieved with four overs to spare.