James Askew insists Littlehampton Cricket Club will not rest on their laurels after securing Sussex League Division 4 West promotion.
Leaders Littlehampton were two-wicket winners away to nearest challengers Broadwater on Saturday to ensure they will finish in one of the two promotion places this season.
Despite securing a top-two finish, Littlehampton’s celebrations were low key as they look to go on and win the title in their final two games.
Littlehampton need another 24 points from their remaining matches to be crowned champions, with Askew insisting full focus is now on winning a second league title in as many seasons.
He said: “We were aiming for promotion this season which we have now achieved.
“We now need 24 points to win the title. The lads know that we have to remain grounded and work just as hard as the previous 16 games to achieve those points. We didn’t really celebrate as we are hoping for the title.”
Littlehampton made the trip to Broadwater Green for a crunch clash knowing victory would clinch promotion and strengthen their hopes of lifting the title.
Broadwater chose to bat first but a fine all-round effort from Littlehampton’s bowlers restricted the home side to 169 all out in 39.5 overs.
Nathan Perry (4-21) lead the way, while skipper Askew (3-29) and McLeod Cox (2-39) all played a part. Opener Samuel Hudson top-scored with 48, while Gareth Challen (25) got Broadwater off to a steady start but they slipped from 127-4 to 169 all out. Littlehampton were probably slight favourites at the halfway stage but Broadwater put up a fight with the ball.
Ally James (78) would play a crucial knock, ensuring Askew’s team got home and clinched promotion.
When Cox fell for nought, Littlehampton looked in real trouble at 65-5 before James and captain Askew (25) shared a sixth-wicket stand of 75.
Skipper Askew and innings top-scorer James would both fall before the visitors got over the line, but Littlehampton reached 173-8 with four balls to spare as promotion was clinched. Littlehampton captain Askew added: “It was a very good performance from the lads in a game that was like the one earlier in the season, a close encounter between two good competitive sides. We were excellent in the field and stuck at the task.
“Nathan (Perry) really turned the innings with an excellent spell of bowling in the middle overs. After losing a few early wickets, myself and Ally (James) had a crucial partnership in the middle overs that set us up for victory. Ally especially batting well in the situation we found ourselves in.”
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