A TALE of two halves this week, a super Saturday with all three teams winning comfortably, then a bump down to earth on Sunday as only Alan Macdiarmid’s team brought home the spoils, as he steered his side to a four-wicket win, finishing himself on 61no.
Playing for him were three father-and-son combinations, adding to three more playing in the other two teams that day.
On Saturday, the first team beat Halstead, Hasantha Fernando with a century and 18-year-old paceman Matthew Hunn with five wickets.
At Friars Street, the seconds outgunned Halstead II, scoring 340 off 45 overs, Ben Taylor with a powerful century in just 24 overs while Ali Younger and Clive Kyangugu both struck half-centuries, Clive’s coming in just 20 balls.
I had mixed emotions; it felt good in one way to win both games so comprehensively as we have endured many years of our cross-border rivals being a strong outfit, but there was also a little sadness in it as it showed how quickly things can change for clubs, and something the committee at Sudbury works hard to ensure doesn’t happen at Friars Street.
On the same day, our thirds beat Maldon to rise to fourth in Division Seven. We didn’t get maximum points but 17 points was enough to leap two places in a tough league. Chris Cook, with 70, and young James O’Brien, with 50, the contributors.
So the bar was thriving on Saturday and with news of results going well it soon dawned on us that the firsts were now fourth in the Premier League – the highest we have ever been – just six points from Horsford in third. The seconds were sitting second in Division Three and the thirds were heading towards promotion territory and with the Cockspur Cup finals day just a few hours away, the spirits began to rise into the sky as some dreamed of Barbados; some of promotion; but all-in-all the club was soaring high at the halfway point in the season.
It didn’t last long, I think the 8.45am meet on Sunday killed any dreaming for most of the first team, the Bury batting did for the rest.
I don’t think Bury have forgotten the early season pounding we gave them, and they let us know — 223-5 in 20 overs. In short it was a massacre, there is no better way of putting it.
Bury have been getting back to old ways over the last few weeks and we caught them at peak form.
Nathan Poole was probably the pick of our bowlers, certainly one of the least hungover anyway. And for the rest it was a hard slog.
We then batted even worse and lost a 20-over game by 175 runs – almost impossible to do.
The dreams of Barbados for the winners of the Cockspur Cup were sweated out as we chased the ball across the Victory Ground.
It was a sobering experience for some of our players, in more than one way. If the fantastic start we have had to this season made anyone get beyond themselves, Sunday will surely have brought them bumping back to earth, doubly so when Swardeston then beat us by eight wickets and with six overs left in the second round robin game of the day.
I am not being defeatist, just honest, when I say that while we continue to excel and hold our ground well in our Premier League, Division Three and Seven performances, there is a long way to go until we can match the talent pool and ability of the very best in East Anglia.
And in a strange way I think it will have done some good to get a Basil Fawlty-style thrashing, especially as it clearly highlighted where we need to be if we want to be up there with the best, and of course it also keeps our young guns’ feet firmly on the ground.