Redbourn have their eyes firmly fixed on a return to the home of cricket after reaching the last 16 of the National Village Cup.

The Redbourn Common-based cricket club reached the Lord's final of the 2020 iteration, losing in the final to Colwall of Worcestershire on a COVID-19 affected day.

But having come through this year's Beds & Herts qualifying rounds with victories over Wheathampstead, Sharnbrook & Bromham and Reed, they booked their place in the round of 16 with a win over Glynde & Beddingham.

Three more wins is all that now stands in the way of Redbourn's return to HQ, starting with a home game tomorrow (Sunday) against Kent's Leeds & Broomfield, and first-team skipper Will Hales is salivating at the chance of a repeat.

"It was a fantastic experience," he said, reflecting on 2020. "We were in the changing rooms, had lunch in the long room, it was a really special day.

"Unfortunately we lost so there is a bit of an itch to scratch, to get back there and get over the line.

"But it was an awesome day."

Redbourn have only played in the Village Cup for the last five years but the skipper says it has already been a crucial part of the club’s summer.

He said: "It is a fantastic opportunity for the whole club to come and watch the team on a Sunday. Everyone can come down and we get really good support from the whole club.

"It is a real family atmosphere down at the club, it is fantastic, it brings people together and obviously the cricket itself is great and we get to play teams from other leagues that you wouldn’t normally get to play."

The Village Cup was set up by the Cricketer Magazine in 1972 and attracts more than 300 clubs from settlements "deemed to be a rural community consisting of not more than 10,000 inhabitants".

Former England captain and MCC member Mike Gatting said: "The Village Cup captures the essence of what our game is all about and it’s fantastic to see villages and clubs fighting for the chance to play at Lord’s.

"It’s vital that MCC supports the grassroots game and gives players at all levels from across the country the opportunity to play at and experience the home of cricket.

"It is great to see Redbourn Cricket Club get to this stage of the competition. Having got to the final three years ago, I’m sure they will be hoping to go one step further this time."

This year’s final takes place at Lord’s on Sunday, September 3.