Relegation far from Batch’s thoughts after winless run

NOT WORRIED: Sudbury captain Darren Batch, right, after taking a catch against upcoming opponents Horsford
NOT WORRIED: Sudbury captain Darren Batch, right, after taking a catch against upcoming opponents Horsford

Darren Batch has said he has not got relegation worries on his mind after Sudbury Cricket Club’s disappointing start to the season.

The Talbots have only won one game from their opening six — on the opening day at newboys Woolpit — with more than a quarter of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League season having already passed by.

But ahead of hosting last season’s third-placed side Horsford on Saturday (11am), with all but Suffolk neighbours Bury St Edmunds and Woolpit above them in the table, Batch is confident they are not heading for troubled waters.

“We always aim to make sure we are playing in this league next year, it is probably always in the back of our minds,” he said. “But it is early days and I am not overly concerned — a win could see us go fifth, it is so tight and every point counts.”

A half-century with the bat from South African Jandre Coetzee and a 37 from New Zealander Rory Darkins at the latter’s ex-club Cambridge Granta on Saturday, saw Sudbury pass the 200-runs-
mark for first time since 
facing Woolpit on April 20.

But for once it was the Suffolk side’s bowling which let them down, with Granta — led by Alex Fullarton (81no) — reaching the victory target with seven wickets in hand.

Batch, whose side have earned three draws and one victory from their opening six matches said he was not too disheartened.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose, but we ended up with more points (seven) than last week when we drew,” he said. “We never want to lose though and we will be looking to make sure we don’t lose this week when we have a tough game against Horsford.

“They were a side who finished in the top five last year and we know it is going to be a difficult game and hopefully we can put in a good performance.”

Ben Hyett’s bowling was singled out for praise by the Sudbury skipper, while fellow spinner Ben Reece is back available.

Batch believes the best is yet to come from overseas professional Coetzee, who bowled economically with 43 runs conceded from his 15 overs, but did not take a wicket.

“He has settled in fine and we can see the improvement each week and hopefully that continues,” he said of the man who led them to promotion in 2010.