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Downham Stow prepare for East Anglian Premier League play-off clash

Pat Yates hopes Downham Stow can make home advantage count as they prepare for the biggest day in their short history.

The West Norfolk-based club, who were only formed two years ago, face an East Anglian Cricket Premier League play-off semi-final at home to Witham on Sunday (11am).

And the winners of Sunday’s last-four clash are expected to entertain Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Premier League winners Eaton Socon in the play-off final next Saturday.

Downham Stow champions picture (50827042)
Downham Stow champions picture (50827042)

Looking ahead to the game, the Downham Stow skipper Yates said: “Its a one-off game and although it’s something we’re not used to, we’ve got more than enough good cricketers in our squad to beat anyone on our day.

“We know a little bit about them and they are a very good batting side. Last week they scored 420 and I imagine both sides will look to bat first should they win the toss.

“They play on a small, tight ground so having the game at Stow should suit us better as our ground is a lot bigger.”

Despite their domination of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division in years gone by, Downham chose not to enter the play-offs as a sole club with them sharing their ground with the football team at the Memorial Field.

“We never took the opportunity to go into the play-offs before, so in a lot of ways it makes this game even bigger as we’ve never had this opportunity before,” said Yates.

“There’s always a lot of interest in the play-offs across the different counties and that’s sure to be the case with this game with us flying the Norfolk flag so to speak.

“If we were to get promoted, for most of us it would be the best standard of cricket we’d ever play.

“It’s important that we treat it like we would any other game of cricket, it’s about taking one step at a time.”

Yates’ biggest headache this week was selecting his starting line-up for the big game which is expected to attract a large crowd.

“I had a squad of 14 to choose from so three people have missed out and that’s not very nice,” he said.

“A few will sit it out, but if we were to get through on Sunday then our team might change for the final, so that’s not to say these players won’t get a chance.

“We’d love to everyone
to come down to watch. I can’t think of anything better than seeing the ground packed out with spectators.”

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