07:00PM, Thursday 22 July 2021
After dethroning the 'kings of the competition' Burnham to lift the Julian Cup last week and progressing to the semi-finals of the National Village Cup on Sunday, after a five-wicket victory over Cambridgeshire side Foxton, it's shaping up to be a glorious summer of cricket for Stoke Green.
Skipper Sukh Dhillon hailed an exceptional week for the club, which also saw the side move top of Thames Valley League Division 1 with a resounding seven-wicket victory over High Wycombe 2nds on Saturday.
As it stands Dhillon's men are still fighting to pull off an amazing treble, having already bagged the first of those titles by seeing off Burnham in Thursday night's Julian Cup final at Boyne Hill. Having set their rivals a daunting target of 197 for victory, Green restricted Rizwan Nadeem's side to 175-7 to land the trophy for a third consecutive time.
Perhaps the mantel of kings of the Julian Cup has now passed from Burnham to Stoke Green.
Reflecting on the achievement, Dhillon said: “It's been an exceptional 10 days. We've won six games of competitive cricket in just 10 days which is absolutely amazing.
“To beat Burnham in that competition is great as they’ve been the kings of the Julian Cup for some time.
“The momentum that we’ve built and keep going with is good and to beat a Home Counties team in the final is great.
“We also looked good in our two big games over the weekend and both results went our way again, so the lads are on a high right now.”
Green swatted aside struggling High Wycombe 2nds on Saturday to move top of a tightly congested Division 1 table, giving their confidence levels a healthy top up before Sunday's trip to Foxton in the Village Cup. Once again it was Green's spin attack that did much of the damage as the visitors restricted Foxton to 192-8 from 40 overs before knocking off the runs in less than 34 overs.
Saqlain Basharat made 59 not out with Pavinder Bhachu top scoring with 63, however, it was the intensity and perseverance of the bowling attack that unpicked Foxton's batting line-up. Gagan Singh, Basharat and Irham Mughal all took two-wickets apiece in a spell of spin bowling that dramatically altered the course of the match.
Should they beat Calmore Sports away on Sunday, August 1, the team which put Cookham Dean out of the competition in an earlier round, they'll meet either Neyland or Houghton Main/Alvanley - who are yet to play their quarter final - in the final at Lord's on Sunday, September 19.
“Foxton have been to the final a few times, and they beat us a few years ago in the national rounds so we knew they were a good side,” said Dhillon.
“They were pretty similar to the team that beat us, but we’ve come on leaps and bounds so we felt confident going into the game, especially with the momentum we’ve built in recent weeks.
“To restrict them to 190-odd on an absolutely flat wicket, with a small boundary on one side was truly exceptional.
“The spinners came on again and turned the game for us.
“There were a lot of people down there, maybe 200 or 300 and it was fairly hostile, in that they wanted Foxton to win, but it was also a great atmosphere to play in and to perform in front of that was truly exceptional.
“Foxton were a little bit shellshocked and said afterwards we’re the best bowling attack they’ve faced in a long time.”
MP Joy Morrissey has raised concerns after learning that a Burnham Health Centre patient has been unable to obtain a GP appointment despite ‘numerous’ attempts.