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Radlett captain targets top three next season after being crowned champions
Radlett captain Jono McLean has set his sights on a top-three finish next season after his record breaking team were crowned Home Counties Division Two East champions.
The South African has led his team to the title after a remarkable campaign which featured a club record 16 consecutive victories. But the ambitious batsman does not want Radlett to fight for survival next year in the Premier Division and has already targeted a place near the top of the league.
McLean said: “We will be aiming to finish in the top three next season. We know it will be a tall order but the players are up for the challenge. We have all got the bug for winning this season and we don’t just want to go up and be sitting in the middle of the table.”
The skipper did not expect Radlett to win the league heading into the season but strong preparation and momentum in the opening matches propelled them to a exceptional start which left their rivals lagging behind them.
“I didn’t expect to win the league,” he said. “To get into the position we were in during the middle of the season was unexpected but we were all thrilled. We had a really good pre-season and took this into our first few games. We built up momentum and just carried this forward for the rest of the campaign.
“We got off to good starts with our batting or bowling depending on which we did first and this put us on the front foot. Everything fell into place after the warm-up games. We had a great team spirit and the players were all happy with our form.”
Radlett were confirmed as champions without even throwing a ball after Saturday’s washout meant the trip to Knebworth Park was cancelled. Their was a double celebration as the women’s team also won the Southern League Division One title.
McLean said: “It was really pleasing to be confirmed as champions and now the guys can relax, enjoy the rest of the season and prepare for the cup final.
“It was slightly strange because of the weather. It would have been better if we’d all been together but getting to this position was a process of all the hard work and good performances, so the guys were still really happy.”
Radlett have the chance to complete the double when they face Sawbridgeworth on Sunday, September 8 in the final of the Herts County Cup.
The captain said: “Winning the cup final would crown a great season for us. They had a couple of their best players missing earlier in the season so we know it will be a tough game. They have some really good players and we will have to be at the top of our game.”
The club have plenty of memorable achievements this season and McLean admitted it was hard to single them out after their exceptional achievements.
He said: “The highlights were the opening partnership of Fraser Crawford and Kabir Toor along with the bowling unit. But there were so many highlights for us including breaking the record for the most consecutive wins and also Fraser getting an unbeaten 182 in the semi-final of the cup.
“This season I haven’t had to do as much as I expected because the two openers have got us off to such good starts. But next season I know I will need to score more runs because we will face bigger tests.”
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