Walden clinch title in dramatic finale!
PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 September 2018
Saffron Walden were crowned Cambs & Hunts Premier League champions after beating title rivals Foxton on the last day of the season.
Having lost only twice, but seen three matches abandoned – more than their rivals – they needed to beat Foxton and hope leaders Sawston & Babraham lost to Eaton Socon.
And that is exactly what happened as Walden dismissed their rivals for 178 in 45 overs.
Captain Ben Harris (3-31) was the pick of the attack, as Ali Hancock (2-30) and Ryan Deamer (2-30) nabbed braces.
And Walden’s batsmen made light work of the chase with Stephen Larsen hitting nine fours in his 68 as Giles Ecclestone added a useful 47 to help secure a six-wicket win with six overs to spare.
Players were then glued to the internet as they watched Sawston and Eaton Socon play out their game, which proved a thriller.
Having made a good start in chasing a low Eaton Socon total, Sawston collapsed to nine wickets down, with their last pair needing 80 runs to win.
Having reduced their target to 16, they lost their final wicket to the delight of the Walden players, who celebrated loudly at the Anglo American Playing Fields.
The newly crowned champions met Worlington in a semi-final play-off on Sunday, looking to secure promotion to the East Anglian Premier League.
And Walden again bowled first, restricting Worlington to 231 with yet more fine bowling from Joe Barrs (4-43), Hancock (3-29) and Deamer (2-26).
Hancock took an outstanding caught and bowled chance along the way, but Walden lost Larsen cheaply, before Ecclestone (30) and Simon Parmenter batted well to provide a foundation.
Walden then lost quick wickets and were five down when Barrs joined Parmenter in a 132-run stand, with both scoring 72 and hitting 10 fours.
A three-wicket win was sealed in the 45th over to complete a remarkable weekend for the club, who now progress to the play-off final versus Norwich at the Anglo American Playing Fields on Saturday (10.30am)
The club are expecting a crowd of around 200-300 and welcome all supporters, with the bar open for refreshments throughout the day.
The seconds lost their last league match of the season to Stamford Town by a 10-wicket margin, after being dismissed for 121.
Tailender Jack Ormsby top scored with an unbeaten 32.