SUDBURY lock horns with rivals Bury St Edmunds in league action for the first time in almost a decade on Saturday (11am) with overseas professional Hassantha Fernando hoping to make a big first impression at Friars Street.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder is set to open the bowling for Sudbury, who will be hellbent on avenging two cup final defeats to Bury in the last two seasons, though they have been kept apart in league action since 2002.
The Talbots go into the match, with a decent crowd anticipated, buoyed by their first ever win in the East Anglian Premier League, done without an overseas professional as Fernando’s debut was pushed back due to a paperwork hold-up.
Sudbury beat Burwell on their travels at the weekend with a battling team performance seeing them over the elusive winning line with a 27-run victory landing them 30 points.
And captain Darren Batch says that win will give them great confidence as they prepare to take on old adversaries Bury, who defeated them in Twenty20 format last season and 50-over format the season before, both in cup finals.
“It was a great achievement to win without a recognised professional in our ranks,” he said.
“It will be nice to play Bury in a longer format and hopefully continue a winning run.”
Despite being able to call on Fernando, who has racked up 119 first-class games, last weekend’s star, Craig Smith (48 runs with bat and three wickets with ball) will not feature due to a wedding commitment, while batsman Al Younger is unavailable through work.
The Burwell win has moved Sudbury to ninth place, three off the bottom, after four matches, while Bury are three places above having drawn with Norwich on Saturday.
After Sudbury lost the opening day derby against Halstead, they will be even more motivated to make sure they do not lose more local bragging rights against the side up the A134.