Will’s joy as Woolpit stay up

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Woolpit Cricket Club’s great escape in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League will live long in the memory of the Parker family.

First team player Will Parker has spoken of his joy after Woolpit achieved the unthinkable at the weekend.

They collected up maximum points from their final game against Norwich - the team they defeated to reach the top tier - to retain their Premier League status after Saffron Walden suffered a defeat at the hands of Horsford.

Parker, who has played for the club for more than 10 seasons, said: “We were resigned to being relegated.

“The wheels had fallen off. We were in a rut and didn’t think we could get out of it.

“It has been an absolute rollercoaster really.

“I don’t think I have experienced anything like Saturday since our play-off victory.

“The play-off win still ranks as the club’s biggest achievement, as nobody expected us to get promoted, but this is pretty close to it.”

Parker praised the contribution of slow bowler Michael Rippon, who claimed seven scalps with the ball.

“It was a fantastic spell as Michael has only just come back from injury recently,” said Parker.

“He was really up for the match. Our wicketkeeper struggles to know what he is going to bowl next, let alone the opposition batsmen.”

The Parker family have always had close links with the club. Will’s dad Tim has been involved with Woolpit for more than 30 years, as a player and groundsman, while his mum Kathy is tresurer and his sister Alice does the lunches.

“It was a great weekend for the whole family, although I think my sister wanted us to get relegated so she didn’t have to do the lunches on a Saturday anymore,” quipped Will.