Wells honour Lockhart with win over Buckhurst Hill to preserve Division One status
PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 September 2018
Woodford Wells captain Jon Gaffney paid tribute to Frank Lockhart following Saturday’s victory
Jon Gaffney admitted Woodford Wells’ win away to Buckhurst Hill in the Essex League Division One on Saturday was for Frank Lockhart, who passed away last week.
The long-serving clubman, who also helped out with other local teams in various different sports, dedicated more than 50 years of services to Wells.
As the first-team were chasing down 202 to win at Roding Lane and maintain their position in Division One, captain Gaffney conceded everyone was thinking about Lockhart.
He said: “When news started to filter through on the morning of the game, straight away we all said we need to go out and win this for Frank because that’s what would have made him smile most.
“I didn’t know him too well, but obviously I have been involved at the club for a few years now and have got to know him in that time.
“But the people who knew him much better than me said Frank would have wanted us to get on with things and he was at the forefront of everyone’s minds as we tried to secure our Division One status for another season.
“Thankfully we managed to do that after a really good display with Gareth (James) and Rory Ellison stepping up because at 145-6, we could have crumbled.
“We have crumbled in similar positions this season, but they stepped up when we needed them most and saw us home.”
Buckhurst Hill declared after 42 overs on 201-2 after securing the bonus points they needed to seal the title and it set a gettable total.
Opener Nabel Shaikh hit 51 off 70 balls and Rehan Iqbal added 33 batting at five, but once they were out the visitors were in trouble.
Fortunately James showed his class with an unbeaten 59 and he got support from Ellison, who hit 16 not out as Wells got home with four wickets in hand.
Yet it paled into insignificance given the events of the evening before when Lockhart passed away following a short illness.
Gaffney concluded: “I believe Frank was involved with the club for around about 50 years and he has done a huge amount for the cricket section and the colts.
“Away from that, he was an umpire for Crostxy Hockey Club until the end of the 2018 season and also a cricket umpire for our second team.
“He had a number of different roles at Woodford Wells and it was really tragic news to learn he passed away on Friday.”
The final day victory saw Wells end the campaign in seventh position and the skipper paid tribute to the two promoted sides – Buckhurst and Belhus.
“We lost six in a row during the middle period of the season and that ended any hopes we had of going up and it has been a challenge since then,” Gaffney said.
“Thankfully we have come out the other side of it and from the position we were in, we have done well because we were nearly cut off at one stage.
“People have stepped up towards the end when we needed them and it is just a shame we couldn’t have that throughout the season.
“When you look at Buckhurst Hill and Belhus, I think they probably were the best all-round sides in the division and deserved to go up so full credit to them.”