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Woolpit plot great escape

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BIG TASK: Craig Estlea is hoping Woolpit can pull off another miraculous survival bid
BIG TASK: Craig Estlea is hoping Woolpit can pull off another miraculous survival bid

Craig Estlea is hoping to plot another final day great escape in order to preserve Woolpit’s place in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

The Rectory Lane-based outfit travel to Horsford tomorrow (10.30am) in a basement clash for their final game of the season needing to win to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

Woolpit dropped to the bottom of the table following last weekend’s seven-wicket home defeat to Great Witchingham, which leaves them 23 points adrift of safety.

The scenario is virtually identical to last season when the village side went into the final weekend of the season 24 points behind Saffron Walden in 11th place.

A sensational seven-wicket haul from Michael Rippon helped Woolpit bowl Norwich all out for 65 runs on the last day and pick up the maximum 30 points, which saw them climb above Saffron Walden and finish two points clear of the relegation zone.

“We’re getting used to it now,” joked Woolpit captain Estlea. “We go to Horsford on Saturday and we need to get a win and also not let them get too many points.

“We need to try and the win the toss so we can bat first and then try and get the 30 points.

“Hopefully this Saturday the weather will hold off, we can win the toss and go in with the bat and set a decent total.

“We all know what we have to do. Hopefully we’ll be all right and we get the result we need.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Horsford (11th) and Great Witchingham (10th) are the only two sides Woolpit can climb above, but realistically they will need to pick up the maximum 30 points by winning batting first to have a shot of replacing themselves with another team at the bottom of the table.

“It wouldn’t necessarily be a disaster if we go down but I believe we’re a good enough side to be in this league,” Estlea said.

“The Premier League is a tough league and we’ve been second best too many times this season.

“It’s a huge game on Saturday. One ball could make all the difference. It only takes one ball to get someone out and we’ll go there with a positive attitude to try and get 30 points.”

Woolpit will be boosted by the returns of Hamish Fiddes and Josh Cantrell this weekend.


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