Home   Mildenhall   Article

Subscribe Now

Darren Ironside confident boosted Mildenhall Cricket Club side can deliver first East Anglian Premier League title



More news, no ads

LEARN MORE


New Mildenhall captain Darren Ironside believes a revamped side has the firepower to eclipse last season’s impressive campaign and deliver the club’s first ever top-tier title this time around.

A recruitment drive ahead of their latest Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League term getting under way on Saturday means there is no shortage of belief they can be serious contenders in 2022.

Sri Lankan spin bowler Naveen Gunawardana is set to add some key experience to their ranks as their overseas professional while Joe Tetley, who was previously with now defunct Burwell & Exning, has more than 3,000 EAPL runs under his belt.

New recruit Luke Du-Plooy batting for Mildenhall in last Saturday's home friendly against Sawston & Babraham Picture: Mark Westley
New recruit Luke Du-Plooy batting for Mildenhall in last Saturday's home friendly against Sawston & Babraham Picture: Mark Westley

Fellow former Burwell players Olly Jeffries – with recent experience in Northamptonshire’s academy –Tim Catley and Luke De Plooy have also added to the Wamil Way roster.

“Last year was a really good campaign and there was some good performances in the club and I think our aim this year is to build on that and go one step further,” said Ironside who is entering his second season with Mildenhall having come across from captaining Billericay in the Essex Premier League.

“I definitely think we have the group of players that can challenge so it will be exciting to see how we go.

New Mildenhall captain Darren Ironside Picture: Mark Westley
New Mildenhall captain Darren Ironside Picture: Mark Westley

“The group from Burwell has strengthened our batting for the season and we’ve got an overseas who is Sri Lankan off-spinner coming so hopefully that will put us in a good position to challenge for the title.”

Gunawardana, who has been playing elite level in his homeland since 2018, with Chilaw Marians CC and more recently Sebastianites Cricket & Athletic Club, is due to arrive at the club today for what is the 24-year-old’s first stay in England.

Suffolk player Ironside is set to open the batting along with Essex II experienced Jack Potticary while Tristan Blackledge and Tom Rash – also both due to be in county action on Sunday –will take the new ball.

The side warmed up for Saturday’s visit of last season’s eight-placed side Copdock & Old Ipswichan (11am) with a three-wicket home friendly defeat to reigning league champions Sawston & Babraham.

Jack Loveday in action for Mildenhall in last Saturday's friendly with Sawston & Babraham Picture: Mark Westley
Jack Loveday in action for Mildenhall in last Saturday's friendly with Sawston & Babraham Picture: Mark Westley

Potticary hit 71 runs from 58 balls in their 212 all-out total (47.1) before new recruit Du Plooy claimed 3-26 from 7.2 overs in the reply while Jack Loveday took 2-40 from 10.

Of their season opener against Copdock, Ironside said: “By all accounts they have strengthened quite well especially in the batting department and they will be a tough side to beat, but if we play to our strengths I am sure we can come away with a win.”

Mildenhall finished last term as the highest placed of the quartet of Suffolk sides, ending 64 points off champions Sawston & Babraham and nine behind runners-up Swardeston.

They will be looking to add to a group of only eight clubs to have got their name on the EAPL trophy in 22 editions since its 1999 inception.

Two Counties action to begin

* The Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship also gets under way tomorrow with newly-promoted Division One side Mildenhall II at Wivenhoe while Woolpit, who finished second last term, host Maldon and Worlington, who ended just above the relegation zone, host Mistley (all 12pm).

In Division Two, Lakenheath, who were ninth last season, host Copford (12.30pm).