Wokingham CC can claim promotion, says MylesBy Adam Lee
June 13, 2012
Wokingham all-rounder Simon Myles believes the club’s first team has what it takes to make a return to the Home Counties Premier League after a three-year absence.
The Oaks’ last season in the Home Counties was in 2009, and they went on to suffer successive relegations.
They returned to Thames Valley League Division 1 having won Division 2A last summer, and are already making strides for a second straight promotion.
They lie third in the league, unbeaten after five games, with Reading leading the way ahead of Wokingham’s upcoming opponents, Amersham.
And Myles, who took over the captaincy for last Saturday’s win over High Wycombe 2nd in the absence of Dan Reddyhough, admits he has been impressed by the smooth transition the club has made since moving from Wellington Road to their new £3million home at Sadlers End.
Of the club’s four senior Saturday teams, every one is pushing for promotion in their respective Thames Valley League divisions.
“I don’t see why we can’t go on to get promotion,” said Myles, who hit 76 in Wokingham’s two-wicket win over High Wycombe at the weekend.
“If everyone performs to the best of their ability then I believe we can.
“We won’t be favourites – Reading, Amersham and Finch are all good, strong teams.
“But at the moment we have a side with 11 players that are contributing every week, while we also have good depth of players at the club. We are competitive in every league we are in.
“In the past we have struggled with availability, but now there is real competition for places.
“There are about 20 other players at the club that could really do themselves justice in Thames Valley Division 1.
“Moving to a new venue has also helped and there’s a real feel-good factor about the place at the moment.
“We’ve had a strong start and have got a good, well balanced side.
“Our fielding has been excellent and we have a well-balanced attack with some good options – we have variety in our attack.”
A gap of 20 points separates the top four teams in the division, with Wycombe still within touching distance of the top three.
However, Wycombe have opened up a 22-point gap between themselves and Finchampstead, who are yet to record an out-and-out victory after five games.
Myles, though, is refusing to rule their local rivals out of the promotion chase, insisting Matt Jones’ side have the talent to soon turn their draws into victories and start climbing the table.
“There is now a big gap between fourth and fifth, and if we can keep playing positive cricket and continue to contain teams with the ball then we can maintain that gap,” he said.
“It’s too early to say if it’s a four-horse race, though.
“It just takes Finch to bowl a couple of teams out and they can get right back into it.
“At this time of year, to be able to put teams into bat first is crucial. I get the impression Finch haven’t had that much luck with the toss so far.
“It’s about being able to bowl teams out and we’ve been able to do that regularly whether bowling first or not.”
Wokingham will be boosted by the news that wicketkeeper Chris Nicholls and skipper Reddyhough will be back in the side for Saturday's crucial showdown at second-placed Amersham.