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Sawston & Babraham's winning mentality has helped them make positive start in the East Anglian Premier League




Captain Dan Heath believes an ingrained winning mentality has been a leading factor in Sawston & Babraham’s impressive start to life in the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League.

The league’s new boys currently sit joint top of the South Group after opening up with back-to-back wins, the latest of which was Saturday’s 39-run triumph at Copdock & Old Ipswichian.

Starting with Saturday’s visit of Bury St Edmunds (11am), Heath’s side are preparing to embark on a run of four straight EAPL matches at their Spicers Sports Ground base – a venue where they have not been beaten in a league fixture since 2017.

Sawston & Babraham's Dan Heath stumps Alex Oxley. Picture: Nick Garham (39860691)
Sawston & Babraham's Dan Heath stumps Alex Oxley. Picture: Nick Garham (39860691)

And with that type of know-how in their favour, the skipper is hopeful the good start will continue.

“Results-wise the friendlies weren’t great but I felt we went into the season in the best place we could be,” said Heath, who joined the club in 2018.

“The boys are loving it at the moment. They are enjoying playing against good players and the challenge that provides.

Fergus Atkins survives the appeals of the Sawston & Babraham players. Picture: Nick Garnham (39860693)
Fergus Atkins survives the appeals of the Sawston & Babraham players. Picture: Nick Garnham (39860693)

“Last season we won every match and there were times we didn’t need to get out of third gear. Now, everyone those they need to contribute if we are going to win.

“There is a good winning culture at the club. We have not lost many games in the last few years, including lads like myself who came over from Shelford.

“We are used to winning games of cricket and getting the job done. Right now we are enjoying the challenge each week.”

The victory over Copdock owed much to the performance of Waqas Hussain.

Sawston & Babraham v Ramsey - Waqas Hussain..Picture - Richard Marsham. (39861290)
Sawston & Babraham v Ramsey - Waqas Hussain..Picture - Richard Marsham. (39861290)

The opening batsman scored more than 1,800 runs in club cricket last season, but had struggled for form so far in 2020.

However, he bounced back in style during the trip to Suffolk, scoring 110 runs as Sawston & Babraham set their hosts what proved to be an unassailable target of 298-7 from 50 overs.

Heath said: “Waxy is a seriously good player and he was phenomenal for us last year.

“He hadn’t scored many runs so far and was having a little bit of a barren run. He actually got dropped on nought and when you are out of form, some times that is the luck that you need.

“It was only a matter of time and he went on to produce a fantastic innings when it was needed. We know we are extremely lucky to have him in our side.”

This weekend’s opponents Bury are third in the South Group – 16 points adrift of Sawston & Babraham – after a win and a defeat from their first two fixtures.