WGC captain Nolan wants his champions to keep momentum
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 September 2017
Welwyn Garden City captain Andrew Nolan is asking his newly-crowned Saracens Herts League champions to maintain their winning habit and defend their play-off title.
WGC sealed the Premier title with a 202-run win over Hertford and visit Harpenden for their final league match of the season on Saturday, before hosting a play-off semi-final against whoever finshes fourth on September 2.
Nolan said: “We won the play-offs last year after finishing third in the league, so we’ve gone one better and won the league over 17 games this year, with a game to spare. It’s a good achievement to come top after a whole season, it’s been very good for us.
“We’ve got a good team spirit and atmosphere, good young players, and Jamie Southgate has been fantastic for us since coming back from North Mymms, scoring 650 runs and taking 20 wickets.
“We also replaced our opening bowler with Julian Chinn, an Australian from Brisbane, and he has fitted in nicely and done well. We’ve built on the success of last year and have that mentality. We have got into the habit of winning and success breeds success.”
WGC have won 11 games in the league, including every home fixture and every 50-over match, and Nolan believes their batting has been key, adding: “We’ve got a strong batting line-up and we’ve batted teams out of games.
“Adil Arif batted extremely well and got us off to a good start with Louis Champion. My plan for the 50-over matches was to bat first and put the opposition under pressure and Owais Shah has been massive for us.
“He’s a good lad, one of the boys. It’s not just what he brings with the bat as he opens the bowling too. It’s his all-round experience and in my first year as captain it has been massive to have someone like that.”
WGC expect a hard match at Harpenden, but Nolan hopes they can keep their streak going and inspire fellow club members in future, adding: “Harpenden are always tough, they’ve got matchwinners in their side, but we will look to go and win and keep our momentum for the play-offs and our semi-final at home and hopefully get into the final and defend our title.
“We’ve been in a good place for a few years and it’s good that the firsts are doing well. It’s about the next step on the ladder. We want that to feed down to th lower sides and bring youngsters through if we can.”