Sawston and Babraham skipper hail ‘incredible’ efforts to secure East Anglian Premier League game against Swardeston
Sawston and Babraham picked up a four-wicket victory over Swardeston on Saturday to take the lead in the division. Photo: Warren Gunn
Sawston and Babraham Cricket Club captain Dan Heath paid tribute to everyone who made it to their match against Swardeston.
The Rams battled the conditions to secure a four-wicket victory at Spicers Sports Ground on Saturday to take the lead in the East Anglian Premier League.
Heath has revealed the pitch had been undercover for five days before the game, with a significant effort to avoid a third straight abandonment for the first XI.
While the ground staff and volunteers were the focus of the skipper’s praise, Heath also thanked the opposition and the referees for their positive approach in moving the game forward.
“We were lucky to have a game,” he said.
“Their effort throughout the week was just amazing. There were guys late every night, early in the morning. There was a team there late on Friday night, there at 6 am on Saturday morning to set the stage.
“It’s a testament to the club that the two and the two managed to get along when there were so many clubs off.
“A big thank you and an appreciation from all the players to all the volunteers and ground staff that we have. We are very lucky at the club to have so many people who care about the club and want it to do well.
“Thanks to the referees too, and Swardeston was obviously very keen to play as much as us.
“In these situations, you need two teams and referees committed and eager to play. It’s very easy to find reasons sometimes not to play, but you realize it’s only a short season and our last two games have been rainy.
“Coming in with the attitude everyone had that day is a testament to both teams, referees, and a real honor to the league. Cricket was the real winner on Saturday. “
Heath won a big draw to put Swardeston at bat in tough batting conditions.
Bowlers Mark Smith and Ben Clilverd did the damage for the hosts, taking nine wickets between them, as their opponents were eliminated for 82 points.
Top Waqas Hussain scored in the chase with 30, as the Rams hit their goal with four wickets in hand, but the captain reserved the credit for his impressive bowling duo.
“You can’t just bowling and get results, you still have to put your skills to work for the teams. We executed our skills absolutely brilliantly and deservedly won the match, ”added Heath.
“Mark has been bowling for three years, as good a sailor as I have seen anyone at any level.
“He just has such a great pace. He hits hard, he asks questions.
“They’re the best team in the league, and they’ve managed to pick up a well-deserved five-iron.
“Joe Gatting is probably widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best player in the league, and to be honest he’s been dropped twice and he’s cleaned it up. He’s had it three times in one game.
“He was brilliant, and obviously Ben Clilverd has played really well this season too.
“He just offered so much control and supported Mark. These two guys were absolutely exceptional.
The result sent Sawston and Babraham to the top of the EAPL, 18 points ahead of 114 points in six matches.
The Rams are yet to be beaten this season, with four wins and two games canceled, heading into this weekend’s clash at Bury St Edmunds.
“Our goal is to have a good season and to finish as high as possible,” said Heath.
“Our feeling is that if we end up on top of Swardeston then we’re going to be there or so it’s that simple.
“Beating them in one of the games so far is a real confidence boost for all the boys. It’s not for nothing if we don’t show up this Saturday in Bury and try to do the exact same thing again.
“Where we end in September is when we can really be proud or disappointed. Still a long way to go, but obviously very happy to be on top. “
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Location: Sawston in Cambridgeshire