CAPTAIN Steve Rose has hailed his Studley side after they earned the losing draw required to secure promotion from Warwickshire League Division One in a tense conclusion to the season on Saturday.
Whilst Coleshill were securing a comfortable 20-point victory at Solihull Blossomfield to leapfrog Studley and finish as champions, Rose’s Washford Fields team were involved in a hard fought game at home to Barby, but were able to clinch the draw points necessary to ensure they finished above third placed Highway despite the latter’s 24-point win at home to Southam.
Both Studley and Highway finished the campaign on 339 points but Studley, who won one more match than Highway, claimed runners-up position by virtue of the head-to-head results between the sides. Coleshill finished top of the pile three points better off.
Speaking to the Standard this week, an elated Rose, whose side went into the final round of fixtures leading the way, said: “It was a nervy day on Saturday knowing we could win the league or potentially not even go up, so it was nice to get the job done.
“It would have been brilliant to win the league but, if we put it into context we finished second bottom last year, it’s an amazing turnaround.
“With a few new faces and some old ones returning it freshened the place up and gave everyone a real lift and once we won our first game we just went on a role.”
Rose believes teamwork, dedication and endeavour behind the scenes has played a big part in the promotion back to the Warwickshire League Premier Division.
“What has been most pleasing is that the individual success has been shared around and during difficult games people have stood up and put in a performance,” added Rose.
“Six of our games went to the last over, three to the last ball of the games, but we came through. Our team spirit shone through and in the games that could have gone either way we came out on the right side. In the end every point mattered.
“It has been a huge club effort and one of the most pleasing aspects is that our blooming junior section is beginning to harvest. The younger players have played a massive part in the promotion push and it bodes well for the future.
“It was a really proud moment on Saturday when looking at the league table. It has been a tough couple of years, but we have stuck together, worked incredibly hard and we are seeing the rewards.
“I know this is just the start, as we have a good mix of experience and young, hungry players that want to succeed.”
Northamptonshire outfit Barby won the toss and decided to bat on Saturday and they mustered 204-8 from their 48 overs as Rob Edom led the way with 98 before becoming one of two victims for Andy Rhodes.
There were excellent contributions with the ball from Stuart Harris who took 4-25 off 11 overs and Josh Gandy who claimed 4-40 off 11 overs, but Studley knew they faced an anxious time with the bat.
The hosts took no chance and in reply batted solidly to reach 105-4 as Rose made 25 at the top of the order and Jawaad Nazir top scored for the hosts with an unbeaten 32.