Caley's pride at Suffolk's achievement
PHIL Caley paid tribute to Suffolk's tremendous supporters in his proudest moment as Suffolk captain.The 44-year-old took over the reins in 1994, and the county have come a long way since then - becoming arguably the most professionally-run outfit in the Minor Counties Championship.
By Elvin King
PHIL Caley paid tribute to Suffolk's tremendous supporters in his proudest moment as Suffolk captain.
The 44-year-old took over the reins in 1994, and the county have come a long way since then - becoming arguably the most professionally-run outfit in the Minor Counties Championship.
And Caley wants more.
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He said on the Lord's pavilion steps after receiving the trophy on Suffolk's behalf for the very first time: “It was a great feeling to lead the team on to the field.
“And an even better one to leave it victorious.
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“It was a fantastic day for Suffolk cricket and all credit to the boys.
“We would have liked a score of around 250, but having watched the Middlesex game the day before we knew that it would not be an easy pitch to chase on.
“We put them under pressure from the start and the big difference was that their professional Ben Spendlove did not go on and make a big score like Paul Grayson did for us.
“Paul held our batting together and Chris Swallow gave him great support.
“And our supporters were tremendous although some might not remember much about the day!
“I am going to do another year and see how it goes. It has been agreed, and it would be nice to have a repeat visit to this wonderful place.
“We may not have the likes of Chris Schofield and Andrew McGarry this season, but we have a better balanced side than in 2006.”
Suffolk's players celebrated in the home dressing room before attending a reception at a nearby hotel, with Grayson praising the professionalism of the Suffolk set-up.
“You have to give credit to director of cricket Kevin Brooks and coach Andy Brown,” said Grayson.
“Everything is done for the players - and they certainly responded today.
“It took time to get your timing right on the wicket, but once I had 20 I was able to score more freely.
“Chris Swallow came in and took the pressure off me after we kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
“And when we bowled our two openers put us in the driving seat.”
Norman Atkins, Suffolk County Cricket Association chairman said: “It was a magical day for Suffolk cricket and the support we received was magnificent. Phil Caley is definitely staying as skipper.”
Andy Hall, the Cheshire skipper, said: “Suffolk scored around a par score, and you have to credit them for batting well.
“We could have had Paul Grayson stumped but the magic moments did not come our way.
“It is hurting to lose, but Suffolk bowled well right from the start, and we did well to hang in after being 95 for six.”