Dominic Manthorpe switches Bury St Edmunds and the EAPL for Hadleigh and the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship in big boost to Frairs Road club
Ben Wallis believes the return of rising star Dominic Manthorpe can provide Hadleigh with the boost they need to improve on last season’s underwhelming performances, writes Oscar Johnson.
The 2018 campaign was a disappointing one for the Friars Road outfit, as they amassed just four wins all season and steered clear of relegation from Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One by just 10 points.
However Suffolk all-rounder Manthorpe, who moved to East Anglian Premier League side Bury St Edmunds in 2017 and split his time between MCC Young Cricketers, Leicestershire and Bury last season, will be available for Hadleigh again during the 2019 season.
Acknowledging that his side were fortunate to avoid relegation last year, captain Wallis is keen for his side to show improvement in the coming season, starting this Saturday as they host Maldon at Friars Road (12pm).
He is cautiously optimistic of his side’s chances in the new campaign, and feels the season opener this weekend will be an ‘interesting’ game.
“Like any year, it’s always interesting to see how the first game will go. We have prepared well and had a good winter programme to get us ready, so we’re in good shape for what lies ahead,” he said.
As well as the return of Manthorpe, Sunil Shrestha will also join the squad. Wallis’ side will also be boosted by greater commitment from players, something that he believes cost his side on several occasions in the last campaign.
“A couple more players should be available more this year. I think that was one of our main problems last season. A lot of the teams that did well were able to field the same 12 people every week, and that always helps,” he said.
The prospect of better commitment from players has given Wallis reason to be optimistic about Hadleigh’s chances in what he feels is once again going to be a very tightly contested league.
He added: “Every team’s aim is the same; just to get as many early wins on the board as possible, and then see where we can go from there. We need to be realistic, but every win really is key in this league as it can be very tight.
“We struggled last season, so want to get some early wins on the board this time around.”
Another boost for Hadleigh could be the fact that the club have not lost any players over the winter period, meaning Wallis’ playing squad remains largely the same.