NEEDINGWORTH Cricket Club clinched the Cambridgeshire Cricket Alliance Division 2 North championship with victory over Histon III at the weekend. The title success came after a decade of trying to gain promotion to Division 1 and saw Needingworth pip St I
NEEDINGWORTH Cricket Club clinched the Cambridgeshire Cricket Alliance Division 2 North championship with victory over Histon III at the weekend.
The title success came after a decade of trying to gain promotion to Division 1 and saw Needingworth pip St Ives II by a single point.
Delighted club chairman Jon Vallis said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the club and one that has been built around a great team spirit. We have a small squad of players, with a mixture of old hands and young talent."
With St Ives already having claimed victory thanks to Wilburton conceding their match, Needingworth knew that they had to play and win. Despite an appalling forecast play commenced on time but in extremely gusty conditions.
Histon won the toss and chose to field and the Needingworth batsmen had to work extremely hard for their runs against a good attack on a helpful wicket. The key partnership was that between Stephen Mitcham (29) and Simon McCarthy (52), which provided the platform for a late assault from Russ Kirk (31) and an above par total of 190.
Histon's reply got off to a faltering start thanks to some outstanding fast bowling from 15-year-old James Biddle, whose opening five overs claimed the wickets of both openers for only two runs. At one stage they were 5-3 but a middle order recovery led by Utteridge (33) and Christie (20) looked to have turned the game before an excellent catch in the deep by Ian Armstrong accounted for the dangerous Christie. Despite some late order hitting from Brown (19), the match and the title were finally wrapped up when keeper Paul Cox stumped Burrows off the bowling of skipper Grant Biddle, leaving Histon all out for 114.
Biddle, who was also Needingworth's leading run scorer for the season, said: "We've won games through weight of runs this year, our top order has been remarkably consistent throughout the season, which has enabled us to either post tough targets or successfully chase them down. We have caught and fielded well all season and bowled to the best of our ability in a range of different conditions and we're looking forward to the challenge of Division 1 next season."
The club intends to start a second XI next season and is actively seeking new players for both senior teams, in addition to players for its junior teams. Anyone interested in playing for Needingworth next season should contact the club secretary Shane McGarvey on 01480 492337.