'Exciting times ahead' as Broadwater secure promotion

Broadwater's promotion-winning team
Broadwater's promotion-winning team

Captain Nigel Waller believes exciting times are ahead at Broadwater after the club clinched Sussex League Division 4 West promotion yesterday.

Broadwater needed just four points from their final two matches to make sure of a top-two finish this term but a maximum 30-point victory over Crawley ensured promotion with a game still to play.

There appeared to be no nerves from Broadwater, who were comprehensive 117-run winners at Crawley to spark wild celebrations.

Former skipper Paul O’Sullivan smashed what would prove to be a crucial half-century (53) as Broadwater posted 258-9 off their 45 overs after being asked to bat. Graham Merritt-Blann (6-22) was the star on a memorable day for Broadwater, blowing away Crawley’s batsman as they were bundled out for 141 in 30.3 overs in reply.

Skipper Waller was proud to be the man to lead the club to a third promotion in five seasons.

He said: “It was another good performance which has taken us into the division where we (and Littlehampton) belong.

“It’s a great achievement for the club to win promotion.

“It was only five years ago that Broadwater finished one spot off relegation to the old West Sussex Invitation League Division 3 and considered disbanding our 2nd XI, both of which would have been catastrophic.

“Since then we have won three promotions in five years, we formed a league 3rd XI side at the beginning of this season, continue to run a Sunday XI and continue to work on increasing our colts numbers - all of which speaks volumes for what we are trying to achieve.

“While we have relatively limited resources compared to most clubs and might be perceived as a little unfashionable, we have a big heart, have a lot of fun and we actually have a very good side.

“We critically obtained ECB Clubmark accreditation last winter and continue with our new pavilion plans.

“These exciting times are down to the dedication of a number of volunteers who give up a lot of their time to try and provide an environment where the players not only enjoy their cricket but where the club thrives both on and off the pitch.

“It will be exciting to play against some very good sides next season, including a couple derbies, and we will continue to try and progress the club further in the winter in readiness for this.”

Broadwater looked in trouble at 157-6 but key knocks from O’Sullivan (53) and Merritt-Blann (30) got them up to 258-9 off their 45 overs.

Merritt-Blann, full of confidence following his cameo with the bat, then blew Crawley away as they were all out for 141. Talented Merritt-Blann finished with figures of 6-22 as Broadwater secured promotion.

With promotion guaranteed, Broadwater end the season at home to Middleton 2nd XI on Saturday.

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