Grieving Hucknall target win against Cavaliers for Josh
Hucknall Cricket Club are targeting a shock win over perennial title contenders West Indian Cavaliers & Carrington this Saturday so they can dedicate it to former team mate Josh Downie, who died last week at the age of 24.
Hucknall's scheduled game at Radcliffe-on-Trent was rained off, but captain Sam Johnson said they would have asked for it to be called off anyway as the club came to terms with the shock death of Downie from a suspected heart attack in nets practice in Birkenhead.
Now Johnson wants the club to channel that grief into a win for Downie.
“We all knew the forecast was poor, but had the weather been good we would not have played anyway,” he said.
“We'd have contacted the league. No one was in any state to play a game of Premier League cricket.
"I think a sense of the right thing to do would have prevailed.
“Personally it was the first time ever I was happy there was no cricket as it we'd had a pretty tough few days.
“Josh had played with us until the end of last year and we all absolutely loved him.”
He continued: “We were absolutely devastated by what happened. Cricket wasn't even a little bit important.
“It was just about his family and friends and being there for them - 24 is no age and he was such a well loved guy around everywhere he went, whether it was the club house, in the changing rooms, on the cricket field or in the pub afterwards.”
Now Hucknall face up to the immense challenge of the Cavaliers and try to repeat their 2018 win over them.
“By no means are we forgetting Josh but now we need to channel that and give it our absolute all to honour him,” said Johnson.
“We need to play the way that he'd want us to play which is to grab the bull by the horns and attack it as he was so good at doing.
“Cavs are a fantastic side – they are the best team in the league from one to 11.
"Anytime you play against them it's an honour first of all.
“Equally it's an opportunity to beat a really, really good team.
“On days like that a lot has to go your way and you need to get the rub of the green in certain situations.
"But also you have to be really good, be really on it and do the basics really well. You have to make sure you stand up to what they throw at you.
"They have first class cricket experience throughout the side – in the bowling, batting and field.”
He added: “They are probably the toughest opponents you could play in the whole of the Midlands I would say with the quality of their side.
“It's up to us to put in a really good display, hopefully catch them off guard a little bit and do Josh proud.
“I don't see why we can't wear the badge with real pride and think about who we are doing it for.”
Cavaliers have won both their opening two games of the summer but, like the rest of the league, were thwwarted by the weather last weekend.
Elsewhere, Papplewick & Linby play Radcliffe, Attenborough play Clifton Village, Caythorpe take on Cuckney, Plumtree face Kimberley Institute and Wollaton are up against Mansfield Hosiery Mills.