East Anglian Premier League leaders Sawston & Babraham eyeing lengthy ECB National Club Championship run
They have made the perfect start to their title defence and now captain Dan Heath is looking for his Sawston & Babraham players to carry that sparkling form into their other big 2022 target – the ECB National Club Championship.
The Rams head into their first back-to-back weekend fixtures of the season, both at Spicers Sports Ground, brimming with confidence after winning four from four in the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League (EAPL).
Sudbury (152) had been the only other side left with a 100 per cent record heading into the pair’s clash in south Suffolk on Saturday but it was the visitors (268-9) who emerged victorious by 116 runs.
Tim Moses top-scored from their opening innings with 62 from 52 balls while CJ Guest (50 from 80) and promoted Charlie Lewis (55 from 71) both registered half centuries.
Northamptonshire’s Nathan Buck starred with the ball, taking 3-13 alongside Guest with 2-99.
It has left them 19 points clear of Mildenhall in the early table ahead of hosting Great Witchingham (two wins from four) on Saturday (11am).
While the focus is on making it five from five, there is plenty of excitement and anticipation for Sunday’s visit of Hornchurch in the first round of the ECB National Club Championship (1pm).
“Our first four performances have been absolutely brilliant and we’re obviously chuffed,” said skipper Heath.
“It’s been a superb start to the season and we’re really, really happy.
“We’ve had a bit of a turnover in some key members leaving the squad and you’re looking round thinking who is going to stand up and be counted to fill those roles? And I’m really happy that everyone has done it at some point.
“We’ve got a big game on Saturday against Witchingham who are a top, top side and then on Sunday we start our national cup run.
“We want to win the Prem, obviously, that’s our number one goal for the season, but if we can go deep in a national cup and take the club to places they’ve never been before and pay back the supporters and committee for all their support over the last few years it will be a great thing to do.”
Having received a bye through last weekend’s preliminary round as league champions, a victory in the 40-over-a-side red ball format competition on Sunday would set up another home tie for the Rams – against the winners of the match between Brentwood and Mildenhall. It would be the penultimate regional round before the draw opens up nationally.
Ahead of facing a Hornchurch side who finished mid-table in the Essex League Premier Division last term, Heath said: “There will be some tough ties as you’re playing the best of the best nationally and if we can get out of our regional group (rounds), which we hope to do, then who knows what the future holds.
“It has given us a fresh impetus and a goal to achieve moving forward into this season.
“I know the boys are very excited and enthusiastic about it and want to go deep in the competition.”
George Darlow and Noah Thain are set to return to the line-up after being unavailable last weekend while Heath is waiting on the availability of Buck for the pair of fixtures to be confirmed by Northamptonshire.