Sawston & Babraham captain pleased with response to previous two defeats
Having been out of sorts in their previous two outings, Sawston & Babraham skipper Dan Heath was pleased with the reaction of his players during Saturday’s draw at Copdock & Old Ipswichian.
The Rams travelled over the Suffolk border after suffering their first two defeats of the season, at the hands of Cambridge and Great Witchingham.
Not only did it see them replaced at the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League summit, but it was also the first time Heath had lost back-to-back league fixtures in his four years at the club.
And while they were unable to get back to winning ways at the weekend, a score of 298-5 declared and the taking of nine of their opponents’ wickets saw them end the 120-over drawn contest with a healthy return of 17 points.
“Saturday’s performance was massively important,” said Heath, who has seen his side move level on points with table-topping Great Witchingham.
“I’ve never lost two games in a row at the club, and nor have a lot of the lads – it’s not something we are used to.
“We had a chat before the game and made a conscious effort to ensure that we did everything right.
“You don’t mind losing games – you have to expect it, this is a very good level of cricket after all.
“But there is the manner in which you lose. In those two games we took eight points and that is not us at all.
“We were not our usual confident selves, but Saturday was more like us getting back to being us.
“Hopefully we’ve learned from those two losses and hopefully we’ve turned the corner. Fingers crossed we’ve stopped the blip before it became a crisis.”
Heath also believes it has taken his men a bit of time to adapt to the longer format segment of the season, one which brings the potential for draws into play.
However, he saw signs at Copdock that they are now becoming more comfortable.
“We’re still learning with this format,” added the wicket-keeper.
“It’s different to multi-day cricket and it’s not a longer format of 50-over cricket, which I think some people assume it is.
“It’s not all helter-skelter like the one-day cricket we see now, it’s more like old fashioned one-day international cricket when you preserve your wicket and then have a dash at the end.
“We’ve had a look at things and hopefully we can be more successful in it going forward.”
While Sawston are locked at the top with Great Witchingham, third-placed Swardeston are just three points further back and Bury St Edmunds in fourth are also in contention with nine fewer points.
And with the second half of the campaign getting under way this weekend, Heath is anticipating plenty more twists and turns during the weeks to come.
“You only have to look at Saturday’s results to see how it could go,” he said.
“Swardeston were beaten by Horsford – nobody saw that coming – and Frinton chased down 320.
“I expect it to be like that for the remainder of the season, teams slipping up where maybe you didn’t expect it.
“From our point of view, we’ve got a little run now against teams that are not in and around us.
“That’s not to say it will be easy because if we’re not at the races we’ll come unstuck, but it will be nice not to have that challenge of playing teams a place above us or below us.”
Eighth-placed Burwell & Exning will be Sawston & Babraham’s visitors on Saturday (11am) – a game that promising youngster Noah Thain will miss with a double stress fracture of the back that is likely to rule him out till next season.