Premier Division experience will stand Highgate in good stead, says de Silva

Highgate in batting action in the Middlesex County League (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC).

Highgate in batting action in the Middlesex County League (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC). - Credit: Archant

The experienced clubman reflected on what ended up as a mixed 2018 campaign in the top flight

Johan de Silva feels Highgate have learned a great amount from the 2018 season in the Middlesex County League Premier Division.

It ultimately ended with disappointment for the Shepherd’s Cot club after they were relegated and claimed the wooden spoon, but a fine finish saw them only 15 points from safety come the conclusion of the campaign.

At one stage, it seemed they would be a long way off even ninth-placed Brondesbury, but just a single point separated the two relegated sides when the final ball of the term was bowled on September 1.

“The team will have learnt a lot from this experience of Premier Division cricket and playing the longer format of the game,” de Silva said.

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“We have also gone up against higher calibre players and so this will all stand us in good stead as we go back into Division Two.

“The aim for next year will no doubt be to seek promotion once again and try to build on the success the club has had of late.”

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Even though Highgate were unable to avoid relegation this season, they did still have plenty of highlights.

Muz Ali’s men memorably defeated North Middlesex on May 19 and their local rivals went on to finish in third spot.

Later in the term, Highgate got the better of Hampstead after chasing down 311 to win and they ended the campaign with victories over Finchley and Twickenham.

De Silva added: “Obviously it was disappointing to lose our top flight status at the end of the year, but the lads can take real credit in the way they approached the season.

“We proved we were able to compete with some of the bigger teams in the division, notably beating Hampstead and North Middlesex, but we just struggled at times to turn strong positions into truly winning ones.”

Off the pitch, Highgate continue to go from strength to strength with their All Stars Cricket section thriving and lots of plans in place for even more women’s cricket at the Shepherd’s Cot club after an exciting softball festival earlier this year.

“A final thank you for the 2018 season must go to the club committee, all those who have got us on the pitch and captain Muz Ali,” de Silva concluded.

“Thanks also to all of our match day sponsors for their valued support of our games this year.”

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