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Suffolk Cricket Club head coach Adam Mansfield believes side will ‘come good’ after defeat to Staffordshire





Head coach Adam Mansfield believes Suffolk will come good despite losing their opening NCCA Trophy fixture by 116 runs to Staffordshire.

Suffolk were soundly defeated at Mildenhall on Sunday, after being bowled out for 170 in reply to the visitors’ 286 for 3 from their 50 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

The home team’s cause was not helped by the loss of professional George Rhodes, who injured his quadricep playing club cricket on Saturday. Ollie Burle was drafted in as a late replacement for his NCCA Trophy debut.

Darren Ironside top-scored for Suffolk in Sunday’s NCCA Trophy loss to Staffordshire. Picture: Nick Garnham
Darren Ironside top-scored for Suffolk in Sunday’s NCCA Trophy loss to Staffordshire. Picture: Nick Garnham

Suffolk’s bowlers not only struggled to contain Staffordshire’s powerful batting line-up but also to take wickets.

Skipper James Kettleborough led the way with 100 off 108 balls, adding 83 for the second wicket with Zen Malik, who made 63, and a further 154 with Michael Hills, whose undefeated 82 spanned 84 deliveries and contained four fours and four sixes.

Mansfield said: “Had we won the toss, we would have looked to bat first, but that's no excuse. Staffordshire played well and Kettleborough batted fantastically. He didn't give us a chance and batted throughout the innings which allowed their players to come in and play freely around him.

“We bowled okay. We know the areas we need to improve on and the lads will keep working hard with their clubs to get these right. We just didn’t take wickets during the middle period of the innings which allowed for them to be ultra positive in the last 10 overs.”

Suffolk made an encouraging start to their reply, Alex Maynard making a run-a-ball 32, before Darren Ironside continued his fine early season form with 67 off 94 deliveries.

However, he lacked support and the next highest score after Maynard was Burle’s 16 as the visitors turned the screw.

Mansfield continued: “Alex got us off to a good start and we were happy coming out of the Powerplay, but Tom Brett bowled really well. He didn't allow us to rotate and we couldn't get the boundaries to compensate for the lack of singles.

“Darren has been in great form and he played superbly well again. It was a shame no-one else got in and was able to put on a big partnership with him.”

Despite the loss, Mansfield is backing his side, who have three Group 2 games to play, to bounce back.

“We’re a young group with a new captain and we are learning as we go. We know results need to be picked up but I fully believe in the guys to come good.

“We have a bit of time off now before our next game and that will be a good opportunity for the lads to reflect on the start to the season and hopefully be raring to go for the tough trip to Shropshire,” he said.

Mansfield said he was hopeful that Rhodes would be fit for the fixture at Shifnal CC on Sunday, June 2nd.