SUDBURY hope to take a massive step towards retaining their East Anglian Premier League status when strugglers Burwell visit Friars Street on Saturday (11am).
Despite a heavy defeat to league-leaders Swardeston at the weekend, a win for the Talbots in their next game would open up a potential 60-point gap between themselves and the bottom two, with only one going down.
Sudbury are currently in seventh place in their debut season have performed above expectations this season and captain Darren Batch knows that Saturday’s match is a real opportunity to ensure they avoid getting sucked into a late relegation dogfight.
“It is a huge game and a win would really see us clear,” he said. “We are currently 35 points clear of Burwell and if we beat them that becomes 50-60 clear and that is a really huge gap for them to make up – it is a huge game.”
Batch revealed there was a long discussion in the changing room after their eight-wicket defeat to Swardeston on Saturday, but he told his players they must now move on after being outclassed on a day where they were also visibly out-of-sorts themselves.
He said: “The real difference between the sides was their bowlers were really disciplined and bowled in consistent places and our batsmen had no freebies.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game and so it proved to be.”
The Talbots, who have been getting plenty of practice in as the club enjoyed their Cricket Week over the last three days, began well getting up to 40-0 but then lost three quick wickets, with Batch himself unable to get any runs on the scoreboard.
One bright spot was the performance of Wilmanga Perera, standing in for his fellow countryman Hasantha Fernando who is currently back home playing back home in the Sri Lankan Premier League.
Perera, an all-rounder, made 59 with the bat, Sudbury’s highest scorer, and then took one wicket and caught the other off Ben Reece’s bowling.
And Batch has revealed Burwell on Saturday is likely to be Perera’s swanswong, with Fernando set to return for the return derby at Bury St Edmunds on August 6.
The Sudbury skipper is certain to make at least one change ahead of Saturday’s game, with young bowling star Matthew Hunn returning from Suffolk duty and is pondering more after the second XI registered impressive figures at home to Felixstowe.