Talismanic Sudbury captain praised for 'huge role' in secruing back-to-back EAPL titles
Darren Batch paid tribute to Tom Huggins for the ‘huge’ role he played in leading Sudbury to back-to-back Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League titles.
The Talbots joined an elite group of clubs who have managed to defend the top tier of club cricket in the region by recording a comfortable 123-run home victory over Norwich on Saturday to condemn their opponents to the bottom spot and the play-offs.
Suffolk’s former leading light Huggins famously drew up a three-year plan after joining Sudbury from Bury St Edmunds to lead his new club to their first EAPL title in more than 200 years of existence, with the Talbots having been in the division below at the time.
He completed that on time in 2017 and is now set to pass over the captaincy, having repeated the trick as they claimed the title in the end by one point from Swardeston.
“Tom fell just short of 1,000 runs for the season, I think it was 993 which he ended up with, which is a brilliant return for the league season,” said club captain Batch.
“He is the outstanding batsman and bowler in our team and more than that he is our captain and coach who sets the standards we play by.
“A huge amount of credit has to go to him for this achievement.”
He also gave a special mention to Kenny Moulton-Day for the ‘huge improvement’ he made to his game.
“He was challenged at the start of the season by Tom as we were missing a number four batsman and he performed exceptionally,” he added.
“He got nearly 500 runs including three half centuries and his performances made a real difference.”
Batch admitted ‘relief’ was one of the main feelings in clinching the title the second time around.
“Last year there was an unexpected element to it, but this year there was a weight of expectation on our shoulders,” he said.
“We went out and strengthened in the winter with Martyn Cull and Tim Johnston.
“With a 40-point lead slipping away to a single point, there was that fear of not getting over the line, so there was a fair bit of relief at getting it done.
“It is not often as a player you get to win a league of the standard of the EAPL and then to go out and do it again is really, really special.
“It’s over now and we are looking forward to planning how to make it a hat-trick.”
He also added how great it was to see a crowd of all ages connected with the club having gathered around the outside of the boundary to celebrate with them, showing how it is ‘a real community club’.
Huggins’ replacement as captain is not set to be announced until the club’s AGM in November.