Unforgettable title double would spark wild celebrations in Whitwell

Whitwell played host to visiting team Firbeck at Whitwell.'Whiwell were Batting,   Firbeck Bowling & Fielding'NWGU 18-7-15 Whitwell, Andrew Straw, batting (10 & 11)
Whitwell played host to visiting team Firbeck at Whitwell.'Whiwell were Batting, Firbeck Bowling & Fielding'NWGU 18-7-15 Whitwell, Andrew Straw, batting (10 & 11)

Saturday could go down in Whitwell history, for a cricketing achievement never to be forgotten, and a party never to be remembered.

Both of Whitwell Cricket Club’s Bassetlaw League sides are top of their respective tables going into the final game of the season.

The firsts are aiming to capture the Division One title, and with it a return to the Championship for the first time in over 25 years.

While the second string need just five points to be crowned Division Five champions.

Andrew Shaw has been at the club since 2000, and has never known the club to be on the verge of double glory.

“We’ve (firsts) been in the same league since I arrived in 2000,” he said.

“In all the years I’ve been playing, I’ve never known both sides to be involved in title races going into the final day.”

Although the second team have already earned a promotion spot, the firsts require eight points just to guarantee a place in the top flight.

To win the title outright, the target is 15 points.

Understandably, nerves are kicking in ahead of the visit of Blidworth Colliery Welfare in the season finale.

“I think it will be very tense on Saturday,” said Shaw.

“It’s a tough game against Blidworth, we’ve got a good rivalry between us and they won’t want to see us go up, they’ll put up a fight.”

It was always the Derbyshire village club’s desire to be up near the top come the business end of the 2015 season, but to conclude the campaign in first place would spark wild celebrations – especially if the seconds also win a title.

“It would be a massive achievement for the club.

“The firsts have had a very good season, there’s a great team spirit and no outstanding individuals.

“A few years ago we started trying to bring a load more Whitwell youngsters into the club, and they’ve come through, some of them in the seconds and some through to the first team.

“They’re all Whitwell lads and that makes it special.

“If we did the double I think the party would go into Sunday, it would be great to have trophies in the cabinet.”