Downham Stow skipper reflects on East Anglian Premier League Promotion Play-off Semi-Final defeat
Downham Stow Cricket Club skipper Pat Yates reflected on his side’s exit by nine wickets at the hands of a ruthless Witham in Sunday’s East Anglian Premier League Promotion Play-off Semi-Final at Stow Hall.
The Essex-based Two Counties Cricket Championship Division One title-winners were better on the day and are set to meet Eaton Socon in this weekend’s final for the right to be promoted to next year’s EAPL.
The game featured an orange ball and more pyjama-style outfits to give the occasion a more ‘Twenty/20 razzmatazz’ and the club entered into the spirit by laying on refreshments and a barbecue for the large crowd.
Home skipper Yates regretted his batting outfit could not set the tone for the spectators and put up a large target – only Addam Todd, who also took Downham Stow's sole wicket, resisted for long with 42 off 57 balls.
Yates said: “I know we can bat a lot better than that, so it was a shame.”
Then when defending 161, the newly-merged 2021 Norfolk Alliance champions needed early wickets but Witham had '50-up' after just six overs: “We knew they were going to come hard at us so we were hoping we’d get an early chance to get into them a little bit, but it never came,” he added.
“They batted well at the start, had a go and it came off for them. They were the better side by a long way today, so good luck to them next week.
“We looked at their results and knew they hadn’t had many close games all season so they obviously were a good side, but on our day we can beat anyone. We just didn’t really turn up today, with either bat or ball.
“They had two good spinners, to be fair to them, and we played some poor shots. Cricket’s an individual game and it comes down to individual errors: we made more than them.
“The left-arm spinner Greg Stephens bowled well, and so did their captain, Jake Wakelin. Our spinners bowled well but didn’t have enough runs to defend.
“We always wanted to be competing for the league but it’s never easy merging two clubs and to win the league, I couldn’t be more pleased. Today was just a bit of an opportunity and we didn’t take it. It was good to see so many people here watching.”
Downham Stow CC vice-chairperson Duncan Lanchester, who won the Norfolk Alliance title during a long-serving spell as captain, said the club watched their opponents and remarked: “We went down and watched them last week. They’re a very good batting side.
“They know their game. They’ve been together for a few years. This is our first year as a club and we are finding our way a little bit as well.
“Our committee set out to win the league within two to three years and we won it during the first year. We’ve got 17 and 18-year-olds who are at the early stage of their careers. Our average age is about 23. The future looks pretty bright.”
Yates revealed that teenager Arthur Wilcox, brother of Downham Stow’s Ben, injured his hip while playing for the London and East ECB U15 Bunbury team recently and could not feature.
For Yates, he’ll be back into the Downham Town FC squad tomorrow as he turns his attention to football.
East Anglian Premier Cricket League Promotion Play-off 2021 Semi-Final at Stow Hall scorecard.
Downham Stow CC lost to Witham by nine wickets. (DSCC won the toss and batted first).
Downham Stow 161 all out in 45.1 overs: Freddie Fairey c Jake Wakelin b Cody McDonald 2, Keith Thomson c Ollie Cooke b Carl Bragg 24, Ben Wilcox b Bragg 17, Fergus Lellman c McDonald b Wakelin 19, Pat Yates lbw Wakelin 1, Addam Todd c Michael Godwin b Chris Huntington 42, Otto Esse lbw Leroy Facey 9, George Cook lbw Wakelin 8, George Bruce b Facey 4, Jamie Cook c Greg Stephens b Wakelin 8, Dan Ward not out 3; Carl Bragg 10-1-30-2, Cody McDonald 4-1-17-1, Greg Stephens 10-1-35-0, Jake Wakelin 8.1-1-18-4, Leroy Facey 10-0-41-2, Chris Huntington 3-0-9-1.
Witham 163-1 in 34 overs: Chris Huntington ct & b Addam Todd 31, Michael Godwin no 71, Kaan Hawes no 40; Dan Ward 2-0-15-0, George Bruce 5-0-51-0, Jamie Cook 5-0-31-0, Addam Todd 10-4-22-1, Otto Esse 10-1-30-0, Fergus Lellman 2-0-13-0.