Sawston & Babraham secure promotion to EAPL with six-wicket victory in play-off final at home to North Runcton
Sawston & Babraham captain Dan Heath has revealed his reaction to securing promotion to the East Anglian Premier League was initially one of ‘relief’ rather than joy.
The Whiting & Partners Cambs & Hunts Premier League Division One champions went into Saturday’s home play-off final as favourites, having remained undefeated in the league all season while also extending their winning run at home to three seasons.
They had come through a comfortable 139-run victory at home to Witham in last weekend’s semi-final to set-up the winner-takes-all outing.
And it proved comfortable once more as Sawston & Babraham (111-4) beat Norfolk Cricket Alliance champions North Runcton (107) by an impressive six wickets to achieve promotion to the region’s top flight for the first time in its more than 160 year history.
Limiting their visitors to 107 runs in 42.3 overs, Sawston needed just 16.4 overs to catch their target and march into the EAPL.
Heath said: “I found the whole thing quite stressful and I didn’t really enjoy it. I don’t think you can get away from feeling the pressure, it’s an all-or-nothing game.
“And it was hard to prepare ourselves mentally for that – we put so much into the league this season to win every game and, then, crikey, we had to do it all again. So I’m feeling a lot of relief.”
Sawston Cricket Club formed in 1853, merging with Sawston Spike in 1989. The club merged again in 2015 with Babraham CC (formed 1850) and competed in Division Two.
They have remained unbeaten at home since the 2017 season, when they were promoted to Division One. They wrapped up fourth in their first season in 2018 before building on that this year.
Heath added: “We put in a really good performance and we’re really pleased. But it was quite easy to be honest, we were a little surprised actually – both teams were winners of top leagues, so we thought it would be tougher. It means everything to the club to have got here for the first ever time.
“It is a joint effort for everyone involved, from the volunteers to the players and achieving promotion belongs to us all. Hopefully it helps the whole club.
“I also take a lot of pride in this personally, I will forever be the first captain to take us to the EAPL.
“We will always have this achievement and these are exactly the sort of things you play for, for the memories and the feelings. I’m just really proud.”