Lankester is relying on others in promotion quest

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MILDENHALL captain Steve Lankester has conceded winning the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One league is ‘out of their hands’ as they look to gain promotion to East Anglian Premier League.

The club go into Saturday’s final league match against Wivenhoe just a point behind table-toppers Copdock, who face sixth place Coggeshall, but despite just the single point separating the sides, Lankester believes the team can only focus on their match and hope the leaders drop the required points.

“It is hard to be confident of winning the league because Copdock are a very good side and you would expect them to win,” he said.

“We are confident of winning our game and that is really all we can focus on doing and hope that Copdock drop enough points.

“They can afford to drop a point so, at the moment, it is not in our hands.

“We have to beat a strong Wivenhoe side first, but we are playing good cricket and hopefully we can get the points needed.”

However, it is not as simple as it first appears as the teams vying for the league title could end up on the same points.

Should there be a tie for the league, Mildenhall will host a winner-takes-all match with Copdock at Wamil Way on Sunday (10.30am).

If there is a clear winner, a play-off semi-final will take place between the winners of the Two Counties League and Norfolk Alliance champions Fakenham, with the latter at home.

The victors of that match would then go on to face the champions of the Cambs Tucker Gardner Premier League Division One – Ramsey or Foxton – in the East Anglian Premier League play-off final, with the winners earning a coveted promotion spot.

Lankester believes the club have the structure in place to take the step up to the Premier League but argued even if they failed to do so, they have enjoyed a ‘successful’ season.

“The club were one of the originals in the East Anglian Premier League and I believe the club is structured for that level,” he added.

“We have players in our team that should be at a higher level and if we did get promoted then I definitely believe we would be strong enough.

“Even if we don’t gain promotion I still believe it has been a successful season. We will have a good league finish and the Suffolk Cup victory to look back on, so it has to be seen as a success.”