Just another game for Sudbury ahead of East Anglian Premier League title showdown
Their chances of winning the East Anglian Premier League title may have come down to a final day shootout again, but Darren Batch says Sudbury will not be giving Norwich’s visit any special treatment.
It is all set to be a day of high drama at the town’s cricket ground as the Norfolk visitors are themselves relying on the outcome for a big prize: remaining in the region’s top tier.
While title challengers Swardeston and bottom side Bury St Edmunds are reliant on the match at Friars Street going their way, as well as their own results, the equation at Friars Street is simple: if Sudbury win they retain the title, while Norwich claiming victory ensures their survival.
But the Talbots’ club captain Batch believes their best chance of writing their names into the history books alongside those who have managed to win back-to-back titles is to avoid treating it as a special match.
“There is no way Tom (Huggins, first-team captain and coach) will allow us to change anything,” he said, following ending successive defeats with a 49-run victory over Cambridge Granta on home turf on Saturday.
“He likes to keep things the same. There will be no special treatment given to Norwich because it is just another league game.
“If we stay relaxed and just let our cricket do the talking I am sure we will come out with a win and be league champions again, which would be really nice. If you offered us that at the start of the season going into the game we would have taken that.”
But with the situation Norwich themselves are in, having leapfrogged Bury after their rivals’ amazing run of five straight wins came to an end, Batch is aware that league positions will count for little following play getting under way this weekend.
“They still have something to play for so that will make them a dangerous opponent, and in this league anyone can beat anyone.
“They have got the second highest run scorer in Newby, who is their opening batsman.
“They have got the Norfolk captain, Ashley Watson, so they have got match winners as well. But hopefully our strength-in-depth will see us through.”
Sudbury will be without the services of Johnny Gallagher – credited for laying the foundation for the wicket-taking on Saturday with his 10 overs going for just 34 runs – as he has a prior family commitment made before the season started a week late due to the wet weather. Billy Moulton-Day is set to step up to replace him.
Batch hopes a big crowd will come down to see if they can reclaim the trophy.
“This is the last chance to see cricket until 2019. Come down and hopefully you won’t be disappointed,” he said.
Sudbury’s match is set to finish after Swardeston’s, with their game at home to Horsford due to start an hour earlier at 10am and be reduced to a 40-over format from 50 to allow them to attend a sponsors pre-match dinner ahead of their National T20 Finals Day competition the following day.
EAPL secretary Andy Abbott said Sudbury had been offered the same but chose to stick to the 50-over format with an 11am start.