Essex bowler Jamie Porter admits: We felt we could win the title all along

Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate leads his team off after beating Warwickshire in the Specsavers Cou

Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate leads his team off after beating Warwickshire in the Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston yesterday. Essex are on the cusp of their first Division One title in 25 years. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Essex bowler Jamie Porter hailed his side’s achievements, with the county on the cusp of a first Championship Division One title for 25 years.

Essex are set to be crowned champions tomorrow, their first Division One championship since 1992, and Porter admitted the team had believed all along they could do it.

“If I’m being brutally honest, winning the Championship was the ambition at the start of the season,” he said.

“A lot of people thought that was too ambitious but we thought ‘why not?’ We knew we are a side which can win games. We know we have got the players who can win you a game, so we knew we wanted to push.

“We felt like we could definitely push.”

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The champagne maybe on ice for Essex, but it won’t be for long.

Ryan ten Doeschate’s side thrashed Warwickshire at Edgbaston today, and while nearest rivals Lancashire are not mathematically finished, it will take a miracle of some proportion for them, firstly to beat current opponents Somerset (they are just 45 runs ahead with two wickets remaining in their second innings as the game re-starts tomorrow), and then to overhaul Essex.

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“In the first three games it seemed we might just have to survive in this division but the way we bounced back and not only saved games we could have lost, but dominated games in the way we have, has been pretty special,” Porter said.

“As a group of lads we are very tight-knit.

“When guys have a bad day we are all right behind them and we all get along so well off the pitch and have got a great coach and assistant coach and it works so well.

“We’ve kept saying to each other we are on the brink of making history for the club and that’s a pretty special feeling in itself.”

Essex have been superb this season and have still yet to lose a Championship fixture. If Somerset do beat Lancashire tomorrow morning, then Essex head to Hampshire next week as champions.

Their final game of the season is at the Chelmsford County Ground on September 25 against Yorkshire. It could be quite some celebration.

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