Sudbury are the example to be following for relegated Woolpit

LOOKING AHEAD: Woolpit captain Craig Estlea is hoping the club can take inspiration from Sudburys promotion back to the Premier League last season ahead of their return to the Two Counties Championship next year
LOOKING AHEAD: Woolpit captain Craig Estlea is hoping the club can take inspiration from Sudburys promotion back to the Premier League last season ahead of their return to the Two Counties Championship next year

Craig Estlea wants Woolpit to look at the rise of Sudbury after seeing his side suffer relegation from the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, writes Alex Moss.

Woolpit went into their final game of the season away at Horsford last weekend needing a win to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

But Saturday’s bad weather resulted in the match being cancelled and as a result the village side finished bottom of the table.

Relegation ends a four-year spell in the top tier of club cricket in East Anglia for Woolpit, who were promoted into the Premier League after beating Norwich by five runs in a play-off back in 2012.

However, captain Estlea has urged the club to look at how Sudbury have bounced back from Premier League relegation ahead of returning to the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

“It will probably be a good thing for the club in the short term,” said Estlea, who hands over the captaincy to Will Parker for the 2017 season.

“Next year we can hopefully get some more wins and give it a huge go to try and go straight back up.

“Look at Sudbury. Three years ago they were relegated, they got promoted last year and they’ve come back into the Premier League this year a lot stronger.”

Woolpit will return to the Two Counties Championship next year without Netherlands international duo Michael Rippon and Ben Cooper, who are both moving on to pastures new.

Rippon took 82 wickets and scored 990 runs for the first team during two years at Rectory Lane, while Cooper scored 602 runs in his one season.

But despite those two departures, captain Estlea has backed his successor Parker to shine in his new role.

“I’m not the captain next year as I won’t be available as much as I was this year,” he said. “Will is Woolpit through and through. I’d like to thank Martin Eeles, Tim Parker, and the tea ladies for all their work this season.”

n Woolpit will be in action in the finals of the Suffolk Cup Twenty20 which takes place at Bury St Edmunds CC on Sunday (10.30am).