Talbots set sights on leapfrogging Bury

WINNING RETURN: Hasantha Fernando proved to be Sudbury's match winner on Saturday. Picture: Ben Carmichael. MBFP-06-08-11 BC 018
WINNING RETURN: Hasantha Fernando proved to be Sudbury's match winner on Saturday. Picture: Ben Carmichael. MBFP-06-08-11 BC 018
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SUDBURY have set overtaking Bury St Edmunds in the league table as their target as they travel to bottom side Norwich on Saturday (11am).

The Talbots go into the game fresh from tasting their first victory over their rivals up the A134 for the first time in 12 years – and now they want to leapfrog them in the East Anglian Premier League table.

With Sudbury sitting in seventh after collecting 30 points from a 20-run low-scoring win over Bury (having hit 121 all out) they are now just eight points behind their old foes in sixth.

Captain Darren Batch, whose side only had survival as their target having moved into the highest standard in their history this year, said: “I would like to finish above Bury and Halstead, our two local rivals.

“It would be a good end to the season to finish higher than those two.”

But Sudbury, who will be missing all-rounder Craig Smith for the trip to Norwich, will not be taking victory for granted at the basement side.

Batch said: “Obviously we are confident of winning the game on Saturday, Norwich are bottom of the league and we will be looking to go there and perform well, if we do we will probably win.

“But it is important to concentrate on our own game and bat well and field well and not expect Norwich to roll over.”

If the Talbots can continue their impressive bowling that saw Bury out for 101, with returning overseas player Hasantha Fernando finishing with 5-35 off his 16 overs and Ben Reece 3-34 off 8.4, they shouldn’t have too much trouble.

“Hasantha got 49 runs and I am really pleased,” said Batch. “He came back to the fore with the ball and he was quite devastating, ripping through their middle-order.

“Matt Hunn got the vital breakthrough at around 50-0 and dismissed another Suffolk batsman.”

Halstead are now targetting a top-half finish after their very credible draw at high-flyers Cambridge Granta, which leaves them in eigth place in the table ahead of a trip to second-bottom Clacton on Saturday (11am).

Captain Tom Philp said: “It still all to play for and it would be nice to climb up a few more places and finish in the top half.”

Bertie Blackwell was the pick of the bowlers with 4-65 off 14 overs, but he only played after turning up for surgery to be suddenly given a clean bill of health on a stress fracture.

Halstead have had to say goodbye to last season’s captain Matthew Spatcher, who is returning to live in his native Australia with his child after joining the club as the overseas professional, before acquiring British critizenship, back in 2002.

“It is a big loss but we also knew it was coming, that is why he stepped down as captain last year. He was offered a job that was too good to turn down,” said Philp, who will be without Bertie Blackwell (holiday) Saturday, but will have his brother Freddie to call upon again.