Talbots’ batsmen couldn’t finish the job

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SUDBURY captain Darren Batch hailed a magnificent bowling performance from Jonny Gallagher in their narrow opening day defeat to Halstead but warned their batting must quickly improve.

The Talbots had their local rivals out for 116 — including a hat-trick and four-wicket haul in just five balls — in conditions that should have left batsmen purring.

But at a sun-soaked Friars Street, they failed to finish off the job, leaving Halstead skipper Tom Philp and his troops mighty relieved to pick up a win and 30 maximum points from a modest total after whipping through Sudbury for 112.

Reflecting on Sudbury’s first ever East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) match, after winning the Two Counties Championship title last year, Batch said: “It was disappointing to lose, obviously, but there are lots of positives we can take away from the game. Our bowling and fielding was excellent.

“Our batting was exposed, but we knew that was the weaker area of our game and it did not come as a shock.”

Sudbury make their furthest trip of the season on Saturday when they go north of Norwich to Great Witchingham (11am) in a game that Batch thinks will suit them, taking the pressure off their batsmen.

Meanwhile, Halstead’s Philp said he was also disappointed with his side’s batting performance, but just pleased to get a win on the board.

“We will have to improve our batting obviously, but we are up and running, having not won our opening fixture in the last few years.”

Halstead face Saffron Walden at home on Saturday (11am) with Philip confident they are playing the fancied side at a good time, with highly-rated Jason Gallian and Charlie Knightley both unavailable until the end of term.

Halstead will also try to protect their record of having never lost to Saffron Walden in an EAPL match.