CAPTAIN Jake Wakelin says his Witham Cricket Club players are excited that they will be playing a major role in deciding where the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship title heads this weekend.

Witham conclude their season with a trip to second-placed Wivenhoe on Saturday and head into the last game on the back of some excellent form in the second half of the season that continued with a 35-run win against Hadleigh last weekend.

Their opponents on the final day will have their eyes firmly on a victory that could earn them the division one crown if current leaders Elmstead slip up against already-relegated Braintree at Panfield Lane.

It’s not a completely dead rubber for Witham, either as they know another positive result could see them finish in the top four and Wakelin is looking forward to a testing encounter to sign off on.

He said: “If Wivenhoe win then they know they have a chance to win the title and where it will go partly lies in our hands.

“Our boys are excited by that and it’s nice that there is no pressure on us.

“It’s been a season of two halves for us really and we’ve been in the form of our lives in the second half.

“We only lost twice in the last 12 games and we haven’t just been beating lesser teams, we have beaten top teams like Hadleigh, Wivenhoe and Elmstead.

“The boys have done themselves proud over the last 12 weeks and the only pity is that we didn’t start the season like that.

“Had you said to me 12 games ago that we’d have a chance of finishing in the top four then I’d have bitten your hand off.”

Wakelin said he expected Matt McKendry to miss the final game with a knee injury and Jack Sambrook to be out with a shoulder problem, while Simon Jones may also be unavailable for the trip to Wivenhoe.

The latest win came courtesy of a strong all-round performance by Wakelin’s team.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Witham were led from the front by their skipper as he top-scored with 72 at the top of the order, with Michael Godwin and Michael Glynn both getting decent starts and then Simon Jones and James Suett adding half-centuries as they made 268 for five from 45 overs.

Hadleigh’s overseas player, Brock Price, led the way for the visitors in their reply as he made 95, but some intelligent bowling from Witham kept a cap on the run chase and the Suffolk side were only able to muster 233 for eight as they finished 35 runs short of their target.

Spin proved effective for Witham as Wakelin took four for 47 and Simon Jones three for 51.

The Witham captain added: “It was another very good performance with batsmen getting runs and then the bowlers doing a good job to back it up.

“The lads were buzzing after because of the run that we’ve been on - it really is championship form.

“We got off to a good start with myself and Michael Godwin and then Jim Suett and Simon Jones made it past 50 to make sure we built a really good score.

“It was a good wicket, but we learned from Hadleigh’s mistakes when we were bowling.

“We had scored runs off seam bowling so I kept spin back for the end of the game when we were able to starve them of runs.”