batch backs talbots to come out 
on top in title test

CONFIDENT CAPTAIN: Darren Batch
CONFIDENT CAPTAIN: Darren Batch

Sudbury Cricket Club go into this weekend’s potential title decider at leaders Witham confident of making a quick return to the top.

Talbots captain Darren Batch believes his side can bounce back from their last-ball defeat against Wivenhoe at the weekend, when they face a season-defining trip to Essex this Saturday (1pm).

Sudbury’s narrow loss saw Witham overtake them at the top of the Two Counties Championship Division One, with the title rivals separated by just two points ahead of this weekend’s clash.

“Saturday will go a long way to deciding it,” Batch said. “But we’ve got three games after that, so it’s no good winning at Witham and then losing the next three.

“When you get to this stage every game is as important as the next one. Each of the four games we have left are equally important.

“Obviously we were disappointed to lose on Saturday, but the fate of our season is still in our hands.

“If we beat Witham and go on to win our last three games we’ll win the league.”

Centuries from Tom Huggins and Batch helped Sudbury set an imposing total of 325-6 when the two sides met at Friars Street earlier in the season, but Leroy Facey’s unbeaten knock of 173 saw Witham complete the run chase with three wickets to spare on 335-7.

“They are a very strong batting team,” Batch said. “They chased 325 against us when we played them at home.

“We’re still unbeaten away from home. Our three defeats this season have come at home so we’ll go there confident.

“I have faith in the batsmen to set a good score, and then we’ll see if we can hopefully tighten up our bowling and get some early wickets.”

Player-coach Akeal Hosein, who is currently on tour with Queen’s Park, is likely to miss out again, but is expected to return for the home game against Worlington next weekend.

n Halstead host fellow strugglers Maldon in a crucial clash at the other end of the table on Saturday (1pm).

Josh Wells’ side could still face relegation in 10th place (see page 83), as they prepare to take on second-from-bottom Maldon and basement side Elmstead Grasshoppers the following week.