BELIEF has soared that Sudbury can avoid relegation from the East Anglian Premier League after beating reigning champions Cambridge Granta, writes Russell Claydon.
The amazing win at Friars Street on Saturday, defending a seemingly low total of 170 before Ben Reece took six wickets for the second time this season, has propelled the Talbots into seventh place in the league, five off the bottom.
Despite this, Sudbury only have a 37-point cushion between them and the relegation spot, occupied by Norwich, which is only worth just over one maximum points win.
But halfway through their first-ever campaign in the Premier League, confidence is now sky high going into Saturday’s crucial match at struggling Clacton, who are second bottom.
Captain Darren Batch, who knows the batting most improve still, said: “Cambridge Granta won the league last year so to beat them must give us great belief.
“We have picked up three wins already in half a season and we would have been fairly happy with that over a whole season. Clacton and Halstead are now very important games because firstly, we want to get the points, and secondly, we don’t want to give them any points as they are going to be around us.”
Jonny Gallagher will return to open the bowling on Saturday (11am) while Jay Phillips is back to open the batting, meaning Hasantha Fernando will drop back into the middle order. Nathan Poole is the only player missing as Batch faces a healthy selection dilemma.
Meanwhile, Halstead also enjoyed a red letter day on Saturday, beating hosts Burwell by six wickets, with Matthew Surry hitting a half century to take the Star Stile outfit over the winning line. It leaves Halstead three above the bottom going into Saturday’s home clash with Bury St Edmunds (11am).