Sudbury club captain Darren Batch knows the importance of Bury St Edmunds derby victory
Darren Batch is fully aware Sudbury can ill afford to claim anything but victory in Saturday’s home derby with Bury St Edmunds (11am), if they are going to go on and achieve a league title hat-trick.
A mouth-watering encounter looms between the sides currently third and fifth in the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League table this weekend.
But champions Sudbury certainly look to have more to lose against the side two places and 43 points below them as they look to make up further ground on the top two.
They go into the contest buoyed by a strong performance at current leaders Swardeston though, where 16 points compared to the hosts’ nine from Saturday’s draw saw The Talbots reduce the gap to the summit to 21 points.
But club captain Batch knows they must follow it up with another victory to ensure it does not widen again and start leaving them too much to overturn.
“I think when you are chasing every game becomes important,” he said.
“You are always waiting for the teams above you – in this case Swardeston and Frinton – to slip up, and hopefully you can capitalise.
“This one has the added spice of being a derby and the two teams being close.
“We have played Bury a lot over the years and got to know their players. A few of us have played for Suffolk together and it will be a good game; it always is with Bury. They have got some good match winners and they are capable of doing any team damage on their day.”
He added: “At the same time we are a very good side and we are confident that if we perform anywhere near our capabilities we will get a positive result.”
Batch, who welcomes back Jonny Gallagher (groin) and Keelan Waldock (illness), for Bury’s visit, though Tom Huggins is away again with Essex, picked out the individual displays of overseas pro Henry Shipley (89 from 97 balls) and Suffolk player Ben Reece (72no from 120 balls), who put on a lower order partnership of 120, as key on Saturday. Sudbury went on to reach 323-8 before Swardeston hung on to three wickets at 191-7.
“Around 200-250 would have been a par score in those conditions, so all credit to Henry and Ben, who batted brilliantly together,” he said.
“The only question was if we could bowl them out. The pitch began to flatten out and unfortunately we couldn’t.”
Bury St Edmunds have had a much improved start than in recent years when they have narrowly avoided relegation. But they will have to go into the weekend’s game having seen the wet weather stop them playing across the last two Saturdays.