Sudbury Cricket Club captain Jonathan Phillips is not ready to concede their promotion challenge is all but over after a costly defeat left them fourth.
The Talbots, relegated from the East Anglian Premier League last season, will now need to convincingly beat the top two sides — Coggeshall and Frinton — in their seven-game run-in and hope both suffer slip-ups to claim the only play-off spot.
But Phillips, whose side suffered a 129-run defeat to Mildenhall at Friars Street on Saturday to slip 32 points behind Coggeshall, believes they are far from out of the running yet.
“We have still got to play all those teams above us and if you look at Coggeshall they have lost the same amount of games as us (four) and we are fourth,” he said. “It does show they potentially have games in them they can lose.
“All we can do is focus on our next game and make sure we win that and put in a good performance.
“It is not beyond us at all.
“We have the players capable of going on a winning streak and doing seven out of seven and it is down to application, availability and a bit of luck, of course.”
He added: “Until it is mathematically out of the question, even if it is a tall order, we will keep pushing for it as strong as we can.”
The Sudbury skipper also said a rumoured league restructure from above could work in their favour, should they finish runners-up.
He attributed a woeful batting display as ultimately costing them victory on Saturday.
“We batted very poorly,” he said. “We were poor in the field and a few bowlers had an off day.
“If we batted well it was achievable, but we were well below-par with the bat.”
Sudbury travel to the side just below them in the Two Counties Championship Division One table, Wivenhoe, on Saturday (11am) knowing they cannot afford another slip-up.
“Wivenhoe are a very good team and we had a very close game with them earlier in the season and just managed to get over the line,” said Phillips, whose hand injury sustained in the field Saturday will rule him out for a week. “Everyone should be looking forward to getting last week out of their systems.”
Teenager Charlie Holt is set to come in and open the batting alongside Nathan Poole, while Kenny Moulton-Day will also come into the side.