Surprise package aim to fulfil their dreams

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WOOLPIT captain Mike Jones believes his side have nothing to fear against Norwich on Saturday (10.30am), as they stand on the verge of promotion to the East Anglian Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.

The Rectory Lane outfit finally clinched the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One title ahead of rivals Mildenhall on Saturday after an emphatic 179-run victory over strugglers Lakenheath, with Craig Rutherford and Jones himself adding the significant runs with 101 and 71 respectively.

However, any celebrations were put on hold as they now gear up to welcome the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division champions in a one-off play-off encounter for a place in the EAPL.

Jones spoke of his relief at confirming a ‘surprise’ league title and he believes that will give his side confidence to take one more step and fulfil their promotion dreams.

“It has been a nerve-racking couple of weeks for us, but the lads have been fantastic and to finally clinch the league was fantastic — we are all delighted,” he said.

“At the beginning of the season, we were aiming for perhaps mid-table so to actually win the league was a bit of a surprise.

“However, we have earned that chance at promotion and we are looking forward to the match.

“It is a huge game for us against what we believe is a very strong side, but we will go into the game full of confidence knowing we will be up for the challenge.

“It is a one-off game and you never know what might happen, but the chance for us to get promoted to the EAPL for the first time is huge and we are all determined to do so.

“If we managed to do so, it would be in the wildest dreams of Woolpit coming from where we have in the recent past and so to be here with a chance of gaining promotion to the EAPL is unreal.”

The club warmed up for the encounter on Sunday by competing in the Suffolk Twenty20 Cup final, hosted by Bury St Edmunds at the Victory Ground.

And despite defeats to eventual winners Bury in the semi-finals and Mildenhall in the Plate final, Jones revealed the competition had given his side the incentive to gain the chance of facing EAPL sides Bury and Sudbury on a more regular basis.

“It was great to be involved, we have learned a lot and know where we need to improve to get where we want to be,” he added.

“Even though it was a disappointing display from us, it gave us the opportunity to play the EAPL sides and that is the level we are determined to be at.”