Garboldisham to put title credentials on the line against Downham Stow and Fakenham
The next two weekends are set to define Garboldisham’s season. Third-placed Garby travel to Downham Stow tomorrow (12pm) sitting level on points with their hosts, who occupy second place in the Cecil Amey Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division standings.
League-leading Fakenham, meanwhile, are eight points better off and will be Garboldisham’s visitors to The Langley on July 30.
Two wins will go a long way to turning lingering title aspirations into a reality, while in contrast a pair of defeats is likely to extinguish those hopes.
And as far as batsman Craig Estlea is concerned, these are the sort of games that you want to be involved in as a cricketer.
He said: “Downham Stow and Fakenham are probably the two best sides in the league. They showed that last year by finishing as the top two and they’re there again.
“But we’ve already been to Fakenham and won this year and while we didn’t play well against Downham Stow this season, we went there last year and beat them.
“If we were to go and win both games then brilliant, but I don’t think winning one of the two would be too bad.
“Fakenham are a good side. They keep grinding it out and chewing up the wins – and so do Downham Stow.
“But I feel like on our day we’re good enough to win both games and it’s nice to be involved in it.
“We’ll see what happens and we’ll go into it feeling confident.”
That aforementioned confidence comes from a campaign in which Garboldisham have tasted defeat just three times. And after each of those losses, Danny Cash’s team has been able to show good character by bouncing back with a win at the first time of asking.
According to Estlea it is positive a continuation from the previous campaign when Garboldisham finished fifth.
He said: “I feel like we’ve really built on the good foundations from last year.
“So many players – like our bowler Josh Rowe and the overseas all-rounder Shakkae Marshall – they’ve been massive for us this season.
“We’ve been performing well and the mood is really positive. If we lose a game it’s not a big deal, we just go out next time and try to make it right.”
It has also been a pleasing season on a personal level for Estlea.
The former Woolpit and Worlington player is the league’s seventh highest run scorer with 480, returning an average of 68.57 from his 12 outings.
“I joined the club last year and it’s been nothing but fantastic,” added Estlea, who has scored more half centuries (6) than any other Premier Division batsman.
“It’s a great club to play for and socially it’s a fantastic – I’m really enjoying it.
“I started the season well and it’s just gone on from there. I’m comfortable with my role as a batsman and what is required and the same if I’m required to bowl.
“At the moment I’m really looking forward to my cricket on a Saturday.”