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Mellis joint player-manager Ben Norton-Hugman looks ahead to Suffolk Sunday Cup final this weekend





Ben Norton-Hugman says Mellis are hellbent on ending the club’s wait for a Best Badges Ltd Suffolk Sunday Cup trophy this weekend.

The Eagles have lost in all four of the finals they have played in the county cup competition in 1999, 2004 and most recently in 2017 and 2018.

Mellis take on fellow Premier Logos Bury & District Sunday League Division One outfit Moreton Hall Ferals in this Sunday’s final (10.30am), which is being held at Needham Market’s Bloomfields.

Mellis are bidding to win the Suffolk Sunday Cup for the first time this weekend
Mellis are bidding to win the Suffolk Sunday Cup for the first time this weekend

Norton-Hugman, who is joint player-manager alongside Tom Davey, is hoping this will be the year that the club lands a cup which has eluded them for many years.

“We’re just excited really,” he said. “I think all the lads are looking forward to it.

“We’ve got a bus booked and a few fans are coming down as well. It should be a good day out.

“This is the elusive one that we’re missing. I think we’ve been in the final three or four times and come up short every time unfortunately.

“We got there six years ago and lost on pens and then five years ago we lost to a good Kitcheners side.

“It would be nice to win it. We’ve got a few new players this year and we’re looking to go one step further.

“A few of the boys have been around long enough and know how to win these games, so we’re looking to make history.”

Although both Mellis and Moreton Hall play in the same league, Sunday’s meeting in the final will be the first time the two sides have faced each other this season.

A scheduled league game back in October was awarded to the Ferals as a home walkover, while the reverse fixture at Mellis is not due to take place until May 14.

Moreton Hall sit fourth in the table, five points off the leaders Barrow, but with two games in hand, while the Eagles are in seventh spot in the eight-team division.

“We play in the same league and they’re up there in the league,” Norton-Hugman said.

“They’re a good side. We’ve been playing them two or three times every year so we know what they’re about.

“We know their danger men and we know what they’re good at and what they’re bad at.

“It’s going to be an interesting one and we’ll back ourselves.”

Mellis will assess the fitness of leading goalscorer Kieran Manning (hamstring) ahead of the weekend, but Norton-Hugman is expecting to otherwise have a fully-fit squad at his disposal for the final.

“I’d probably say 50 or 60 per cent of them play on Saturdays,” Norton-Hugman said.

“Some play for Scole (United) and one or two play higher up, but most of them are local mates and have been playing for a lot of years.

“We love playing on the pitch. There’s a good social side and we enjoy playing.

“We just go out to enjoy ourselves and we don’t put too much pressure on the lads. We do what we can and we’ve got nothing to fear.”