Double promotion joy for Wokingham CC on final day
September 07, 2011
WOKINGHAM Cricket Club gave their Wellington Road ground the perfect send off as two of the senior teams clinched promotion on the last day of the Thames Valley League season on Saturday.
Wokingham switch to a new, purpose-built facility in Sindlesham next summer, and the emotional farewell to the club’s home for 150 years was made sweeter by a double promotion.
Both the 1st and 3rd teams not only needed to win, but also required results to go their way on Saturday.
And the cricket gods were smiling on them as everything went to plan.
The Thames Valley League rules mean that the team batting second can only win a maximum of 20 points, as opposed to 25 for the team batting first.
Therefore, both Wokingham teams needed to win the toss and hope that their league rivals, Chesham and Rusilip 2nd, lost theirs.
And amazingly, all four flips of the coin went Wokingham’s way, allowing the 1st team to win Division 2A and the 3rd team to finish runners-up and gain promotion from Division 7A.
For the 1st XI, it marks the end of a devastating two seasons, marred by successive relegations.
And, for the 3rd team, their promotion is all the more impressive considering they suffered a 30-point deduction after a player registration mix-up earlier this summer.
But for wokingham captain Dan Reddyhough, who led the batsmen on Saturday with a fine knock of 48, it is just rewards following a hard season.
“I suppose I got us off to a start, but, as it has been all year, it was a huge team effort,” he said.
“It was a great day for the club as a whole.
“The toss of the coin was important for both of us and fortunately all four went our way.
“To then back that up with two fine performances was great.
“There was communication all day (between the two grounds) there and we knew from an early stage that it was in our hands.
“Our bowling has won us this title and they have been exceptional all year.”
The two promotions represent a target fulfilled for the club after goals set at the end of last season.
And Reddyhough is delighted that the final season at Wellington Road will be remembered as a successful one as the club now looks ahead to the next stage of its development.
“We targeted the first and third teams to get promoted during our review in the autumn and to see that through to fruition is a fantastic achievement and great testimony to the spirit at the club,” he said.
“We wanted to sign off at the ground in style and after two relegations to bounce back to a level where we feel we should be playing is great.
“We will still be targeting a return to the Home Counties, but maybe that will be a two-to-three-year goal – we shall see how it goes.
“This is the first stage of a five-year plan we have put in place. We have ticked the boxes for year one and now we move on.”