IT’S a classic North v South contest for the 2018 Royal London Club Championship final tomorrow, with a Richmondshire team from rural North Yorkshire taking on the North Londoners of Stanmore at the Brightside Ground in Bristol.

Richmondshire might be Yorkshire-based, but the club are closer to Emirates Riverside than Headingley, and boast a number of links to Durham.

“We do have some quite strong links with Durham,” said Richmondshire secretary Mike Heseltine. “Gary Pratt obviously, but also two of our young players, Tom and Josh Dowson, whose father Richard is the chief operating officer at Durham.

“It’s exciting for everyone at the club to be in a national final. We’ve had to beat some very strong teams to get there, including Ormskirk and Northern.”

Matthew McKiernan, a 24-year-old leg-spinner from Leigh who has played plenty of second-team cricket for Lancashire but made his senior debut against them for Derbyshire earlier this summer, has been a key figure in Richmondshire’s route to the final – and will doubtless figure with Pratt in Stanmore’s pre-match planning.

Stanmore, a suburb probably best-known as the top of the Jubilee Line and therefore a handy place for northerners to park on the way to Wembley or Lord’s, boast Angus Fraser and Mark Ramprakash among their club membership.

There’s a strong family story in the current Stanmore team, with the club captain Marc Reingold joined by his sons Grant and Steven. The Reingold influence doesn’t end there as Stephanie, who has watched her sons come through the junior ranks to join their dad in the senior team, is now the club secretary – and also works for Middlesex.

This is the 50th final since the National Knockout was introduced as the DH Robins Cup in 1969, and while there have been plenty of winners from Middlesex – starting with Hampstead in that first year followed by Sunbury, Southgate, Enfield and Teddington – like Richmondshire, this will be Stanmore’s first appearance in the final.