Cricket: Connah’s Quay’s dramatic Premier Division title victory was destiny claims Martin Burger
BIG-HITTING Martin Burger says Connah’s Quay’s North Wales League title victory was ‘destiny’ after they almost threw it away against St Asaph.
The Deesiders overcame a brief scare on Saturday to beat Saints and secure top spot in the Premier Division, ending Llandudno’s five-year reign as champions.
Batsman Burger said Saturday was an ‘amazing day’ but Llandudno are still unhappy at being deducted 18 points for allegedly fielding a player under suspension – a charge the club denies.
Llandudno skipper Steve Smith launched an outspoken verbal attack on the league last week – suggesting it would be ‘unfair’ if any other side won the title – but Connah’s Quay remained focused on the task in hand and are proud to be champions.
After recovering from 66-6 to defeat strugglers St Asaph, South African Burger said: “It was an amazing day, unlike any other day.
“Saints came here and they had something to fight for and we were trying to win the league amid all these ridiculous statements from Steve Smith.”
Saints made 201-8 in their innings, Quay bowlers David Powell (3-31) and Ryan Holloway (2-33) helped keep them in check.
“It was an OK score but not one we should have had a problem reaching,” said Burger.
But fate was to test Quay’s title credentials. David Fox, Burger, Powell, Gareth Jones and skipper Sean Steynberg-Wright – the batsmen Quay’s success is built on – all departed for single figures as Quay found themselves in trouble on 66-6.
“I genuinely thought we were going to throw it away,” said Burger. “I thought this wasn’t our day and the title was going back to Llandudno.”
But an incredible wag of the tail came to the rescue. Shane Carlton, who has averaged just 16 runs this season and Holloway, with an average of 25, found their touch, Carlton making 67 and Holloway 50no.
Darren Leach contributed 11 as Quay made 205-7 and earned the victory they needed to become champions.
“It was destiny telling us we deserved this, robbing us of the big-hitters and showing us that we had the strength in depth to win the title and build for the future,” said Burger.
“After all the fuss with Llandudno last week we have had a lot of support from other teams in the league, contacting us and encouraging us to finish the job and we have done.”
Burger revealed that Quay’s success, despite a little help from destiny, was planned out in detail by captain Steynberg-Wright.
He said: “When Llandudno were docked points we developed a strategy of how we were going to play every remaining game of the season in order to win the title.
“If they had been given those points back by the league we would have had to appeal because without those missing points we would have batted longer in more games to earn the full 30 points.
“But none of that matters now, we are the champions and it is an amazing feeling.”