Sawston & Babraham in pole position in a four-horse title race
Season set for thrilling conclusion
Sawston & Babraham have gone above and beyond expectations in Whiting & Partners Cambs and Hunts Premier League, Division One this season.
In their first year after promotion, the aim was to stay well clear of the relegation places with the possibility of knocking on the door of the top five.
With two games remaining of the season though, they find themselves in first place, with clashes against their title rivals in their remaining two games.
It has been a hugely successful campaign for the club as a whole, and first place for the first team would add to divisional wins for the seconds, thirds and fourths in the CCA Leagues.
The greater strength of the club is also that the success for the first team has not been down to one star individual, it has been the ability to play to their strengths as a team.
“We’ve got 11 players who are all chipping in and helping out each week,” said Sawston & Babraham first-team captain Marc Pearson.
“It’s not one person really standing out, to be honest. Matt Hague missed the first seven games of the season, which wasn’t ideal, but we still managed to do it without him.
“Waqas [Hussain], who is our pro, hasn’t really been consistent but when he scores runs, he scores big runs. Not having the same team each week I thought we’d struggle, but we’ve done really well; we haven’t had the same team out two weeks in a row.
“I just think bringing new players in as we did, it filtered down through the club. Every team has done well this year, and there is a lot of confidence in the club.
“All three teams below the first team have been promoted, and the first team are in a position which we could only have dreamt of at the start of the year.
“Our aim at the start was to come into the league and be competitive, and stay in it. Being top with two games to go is a fantastic effort from everyone really.”
Four teams remain in with a chance of finishing first – Sawston & Babraham, Foxton, Saffron Walden and Eaton Socon – and they play each other in the last two games.
Sawston & Babraham had a 135-run win over Ramsey last Saturday, with Hussain hitting 151, Hague making 121 and Dilshan Manamperi taking five for 14 off 5.1 overs.
Coupled with Walden’s 30-run loss to Eaton Socon, it saw Sawston jump to the summit, and they face Walden away this Saturday.
Walden will also play Foxton at home, while Sawston & Babraham travel to Eaton Socon, so it is all to play for.
“Walden are a great side and have been top the whole season, rightly so really as they have a very good team and are a good bunch of lads as well,” said Pearson.
“So Saturday is hotting up to be one of the games of the season really. We’ve got Eaton Socon last game as well, which could potentially be another crunch game.
“It’s fantastic for the league for it to be a four-horse race as we all have a shout of winning it, and we’ve all got to play each other.”
Without jumping the gun, were Sawston & Babraham to win the league it would bring into prospect a play-off match to try to get promotion to the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.
And Pearson said: “If we are in a position where we do win the league, we will go for it. We’ve had a chat as a club and it’s something we want to do, whether we’re ready or not yet is another thing.
“I think it’s something that you can’t dwell on, you just have to take a chance. If we do win the league and we get to the play-offs then we will definitely try to win to get into the Premier League, without a doubt.”