Eaton Bray Cricket Club win League Title
Posted on September 4, 2016
Eaton Bray CC have won their first League title since 2009, with a weekend washout against title rivals Biddenham CC ensuring them enough points to be crowned champions.
The season was a hugely successful one for the club in general, with the 2nd XI sealing promotion from Division 6 of the Four Counties Cricket League and further growth in the youth section of the club.
The 1st XI benefitted from an unbeaten start to the season, going 9 matches until they tasted defeat, and although that culminated with a 7 match winless streak, the brilliant start kept enough points in the bank to seal their crown.
With a change of captaincy at the start of the season, emphasis was placed on youth, which also allowed older players freedom to play their natural games without the burden of leadership. Captain Josh Peacock looked to bring a team together that he always felt were the best individually, but just needed a change in approach to become more successful. 'We had a team meeting at the start of the year, when we came up with a number of team rules, which we ultimately felt could see us win the league. We became smarter in our approach, our training and our conduct, which paid dividends. I knew if we tinkered with a few small details, these were the 1%-ers (a term derived from reading Clive Woodward's book on leadership), that we would be ahead of all other teams in the league.'
Two matches stand out as a stark reminder as to how they achieved their success. New Bradwell away, when a Jaco Jacobs rearguard saw them escape almost certain defeat with a draw and the win away at New City CC early in the season, both during that unbeaten run. 'Jaco is your attacking-type of batsman, and although destructive, will be the first to admit he gives away his wicket away too easily at times'. Not on this occasion however, with the team struggling at 160-9 in pursuit of 254, Jaco batted out 21 overs to see us to 215-9 and safety, gathering 13 points for our efforts, showing the now engrained resolve that made the team togetherness such a poignant factor. Only a few weeks earlier, the team beat New City convincingly for the first time since their opponents had been promoted to the top division, back in 2011. 'We just kept finding ways to lose or badly draw against them in the past, says Peacock, but not this time'. A brilliant 69 from Andy Norris set the tone, and with James Flecknell contributing with 4 wickets and a brilliant close catch, the hoodoo was broken.
Ending the season with 5 batsmen in the top 20 in the league, and 3 bowlers within the top 20 also further emphasises the talent the team possesses. 'Again, togetherness is the key says Josh, but some of the individual performances this year have been fantastic in seeing us home. All I've done is placed great importance on team spirit, each Saturday, but this season is down to all of the players that have played for us. We've used 22 players this year, and every single one deserves the accolade of winning the league. The campaign can now serve as a springboard for future success, there's so much potential here for us to be hugely successful for years with a balanced mix of experience and youth.
Source: Eaton Bray Cricket Club
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