Mixed emotions for promoted Waltham

Dan Wheeler. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142218-563)
Dan Wheeler. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142218-563)
Have your say

Bishop’s Waltham captain Dan Wheeler had mixed emotions after his side’s final game of the Hampshire League division two season was washed out.

The clash with Hungerford at Albany Road was abandoned and with it went any chance the hosts had of overhauling United Services and clinching the title.

It did, however, ensure Waltham were promoted in second spot.

‘It saved us from throwing away our promotion chances,’ said Wheeler.

‘It would have been a shame to see all the hard work put in go to waste at the death.

‘We were due to prepare a pitch on the Friday but the heavy showers put paid to that.

‘At the same time, I had my strongest team out and it is a shame we didn’t have a chance of winning the title.

‘It is a little bit frustrating after being top of the league for 15 weeks of the season.’

For Waltham, it was a second consecutive promotion – and a third in four seasons.

Four years ago, the senior side were in the fourth tier and their second team were scrapping it out in regional division two.

Both teams earned promotion this summer, showing the club’s progression.

And they have ambitions to remain at top level.

‘Back to back promotions is beyond our wildest dreams,’ said Wheeler.

‘It is a massive achievement when you consider where we were not so long ago.

‘We are already in talks with Hong Kong for another overseas player next season after our three-year connection has paid dividends.

‘They go to the World T20 in India in March and we are looking for someone to come to us shortly after that.

‘Apart from that we will have a recruitment drive to attract new players and start our winter nets early.’

Leading lights this season have been Phil Baldock, who scored more than 700 runs, and Sam Medland with in excess of 300.

Medland also took 23 wickets – eight behind top wicket-taker Wheeler.

Hong Kong development player Suhaib Ahmad also played an influential part with 24 wickets.