FINDON Cricket Club captain Barry Meaney heaped praise on his young side and the club’s youth set up after they were crowned the Sussex League Division 3 West champions on Saturday.
Meaney was over the moon as their 30-point win over Henfield, meant, despite their still being a game left to play, they have sealed both promotion and the title as they cannot be caught by close-rivals Bognor.
The captain piled praise on to his young side and hailed their excellent youth set-up as a key ingredient in the club’s success this year.
Their promotion, with 13 wins under their belt, comes as a stark contrast to last year when they won just four games in a relegation-threatened season.
Meaney said: “It’s just a really good achievement. Obviously, we didn’t do to well last year, but we have come on leaps and bounds.
“We have not only won it, but we have won it in some style as well, as 13 wins from 17 games is quite a feat. It was pleasing to wrap it up at home and we’re looking forward to a new challenge next year, with new teams as well.”
It is Findon’s first-ever promotion in the Sussex League, so it will be a debut for them in Division 2 next season.
Meaney believes it will be a great experience for their young players, and one they have earned.
He added: “The third team also won their league on Saturday, and it’s well worth mentioning that the club is in such great shape, due to the fine youth set-up.
“We have a lot of people working behind the scenes very hard on it. Everyone in the first team, apart from myself, has come up through it and they are all around just 21 years old – so it really is coming to fruition.”
Having lost the toss and being inserted on Saturday, Findon set about making 204-8, where they declared with three overs to spare.
Bradley Bridson was out early on, but Jack Metters and Felix Jordan rebuilt and put on 59 for the second wicket.
A number of wickets then fell in quick succession, before a sensible 49 from Glen Bridson helped them up to their total.
The Findon attack then made light work of Henfield’s batsmen to skittle them out for 97.
James Iago grabbed three wickets, while Tom Blake and Harry Metters claimed two each.
Meaney added: “Glen batted like a dream. He is only 17 and although I talked up his wicketkeeping last week, he can bat very well, too.
“He played his shots well and was very sensible just when we needed it. We then took three more overs at them on a wet deck, and, fair play to Henfield, they could have just blocked out but they went for it.
“The wickets were all shared around in what was a good game.”
Findon face Middleton in their final game this week and Meaney said: “I’ve said to the guys it gives us the chance to relax a bit, but we don’t want to finish with anything but a win, really.”