We've done it!

PUBLISHED: 11:31 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

Buntingford in victory mood after winning the Herts & Essex League title

Buntingford in victory mood after winning the Herts & Essex League title

BUNTINGFORD Cricket Club completed a remarkable rise through the Herts & Essex League when they won the Division One title on Saturday. A 26-run victory against Stansted Hall wrapped up the title, leaving skipper Barry Walker a delighted man. This has be

BUNTINGFORD Cricket Club completed a remarkable rise through the Herts & Essex League when they won the Division One title on Saturday.

A 26-run victory against Stansted Hall wrapped up the title, leaving skipper Barry Walker a delighted man.

"This has been a truly great season for the club" he said.

"To win the title in our first year in the top flight is a massive achievement.

"This really has been a season when many players from the club have contributed to the success. It is not enough just being a talented side.

"We have great camaraderie within the club and that has helped us play effectively as a team"

Ultimately Buntingford did not need to win their game, with title rivals Takeley suffering a five- wicket defeat against neighbours Hockerill

The title victory completed a remarkable rise through the divisions of village cricket in the area.

The run began in 2001 when Buntingford became the final champions of the Mercury Village League. The competition was absorbed into the Herts & Essex League, with the majority of the clubs forming a new fifth division.

As champions, however, Buntingford went into Division Four where they immediately romped to the title.

They repeated the trick in 2003 by winning Division Three to complete a hat-trick of championship wins.

Division Two proved to be a tougher hurdle, with a mid-table finish in 2004, before third place was sealed last year.

Buntingford appeared to have missed out on promotion again, but with White Roding folding, they were offered a place in the top flight.

In Saturday's game, skipper Walker won the toss and decided to bat first on the excellent Stansted Hall wicket, and hoped that the forecast rain would stay away.

Martin Coote and John Clements got the innings off to a steady start with 30 runs coming from the first 10 overs.

Clements was then out with the score on 35 and Coote fell when Buntingford had reached 63.

This brought Chris Chambers and Richard Pearce together.

These two batsman have been at the heart of the Buntingford batting this season, and once again they showed their class with a stand of 114 from 19 overs, Pearce contributing 58 and Chambers ending up on 75.

Some late order hitting from Walker and Dixon helped the total to 221-6 from the allotted 45 overs.

Buntingford have relied on good and consistent bowling to restrict sides this year, and once again they stood up to the pressure of the situation.

Dixon bowled with great control, taking 1-24 from his 10 overs. Pearce was again the pick of the bowlers taking 1-31.

Walker bowled his 10 overs for 32 and at this point, the game was out of the reach of Stansted Hall, who were by now settling for the bonus batting points that would ensure their safety from relegation.

The final over was bowled by Dan Duff, Stansted Hall ended on 195-3, and the celebrations began.

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