Title joy for Sawston & Babraham

PUBLISHED: 06:59 20 September 2017

Sawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Shelford batting, keeping wicket Ben Benson, bowling Dilshan Manamperi. Picture: Keith Heppell

Sawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Shelford batting, keeping wicket Ben Benson, bowling Dilshan Manamperi. Picture: Keith Heppell

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Wash-out kickstarts championship celebrations

Sawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Shelford batting, keeping wicket Ben Benson, bowling Dilshan Manamperi. Picture: Keith HeppellSawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Shelford batting, keeping wicket Ben Benson, bowling Dilshan Manamperi. Picture: Keith Heppell

Liam Flynn praised a “club effort” as Sawston & Babraham celebrated winning the Whiting & Partners Cambs & Hunts Premier League, Division Two title.

They headed into the final match of the season against Great Shelford having already secured promotion but needing 16 points to take the title from Kimbolton.

However, the rain wreaked havoc with the cricket fixtures at the weekend.

Sawston & Babraham had Great Shelford at 94 for 4, and having gone off a few times for the weather the match was finally abandoned, giving the teams five points each.

Sawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Ben Clilverd . Picture: Keith HeppellSawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Ben Clilverd . Picture: Keith Heppell

And then they got news of their rivals’ match at Huntingdon & District.

“We got the phone call from Huntingdon about 3.30pm to say they were washed out as well so the party started then,” said captain Flynn, with a hog roast and disco at the club leading to the celebrations going on long into the night.

“I learned that we used 21 players from the whole squad so it’s been a serious club effort really. Everyone that has come in has done their bit throughout the season.

“I always knew on paper that we’ve got one of the best sides in the league, but it was about whether we could perform on the day, and we did.”

Sawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Shelford batting, keeping wicket Ben Benson, bowling Dilshan Manamperi, Dan Heath out . Picture: Keith HeppellSawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Shelford batting, keeping wicket Ben Benson, bowling Dilshan Manamperi, Dan Heath out . Picture: Keith Heppell

It will be the first time that the merged Sawston & Babraham Cricket Club, who joined forces in 2015, have been in Division One, although Sawston were in the top flight as a single entity up until 2014.

“We were in Division One about three years ago,” said Flynn. “A few of us left for different reasons but then we all came back together so it’s been a regroup and we’re back where we belong.

“It was a good season all round.”

Flynn may not have had much luck in the calls before games, but the key has been Sawston & Babraham’s all-round game.

Sawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Nick Griggs. Picture: Keith HeppellSawston & Babraham v Great Shelford - Spicers Sports Field, Cambridge Rd, Sawston, Cambridge, Nick Griggs. Picture: Keith Heppell

Matt Hague was the leading batsman in Division Two, and third across the two divisions, and was second for wickets taken, and in the top five across the Premier League, with Dilshan Manamperi also in the top five.

“I only won the toss four times all season so we got to the point where we knew I would lose the toss every week near enough,” joked Flynn.

“We always knew we had a strong batting side. Everyone could bat; we batted all the way down to 11.

“And we always knew we had reasonable, varying bowling attacks. We had seven bowlers each week and we chopped and changed so everyone could do their bit really.”

Kimbolton went up with Sawston & Babraham, while the final day wash-out confirmed that Cambridge St Giles were relegated along with Burwell II and Warboys.

The impact of the weather was also felt in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

Cambridge Granta had reached 204 for 7 before their match at Bury St Edmunds was abandoned, while there was no play possible in Burwell’s game at Mildenhall.

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