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Sudbury club captain Darren Batch reveals determination for Talbots to be best in Suffolk again as Sawston & Babraham build up healthy lead in EAPL title race




After four winless games Sudbury’s Darren Batch seems to accept their race to reclaim the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League title is done – but they will not be accepting second best in the county.

The Talbots head to second-placed Swardeston on Saturday (11am) a full 76 points behind Sawston & Babraham, whose winning start to the campaign has continued, leaving them 37 ahead of their Norfolk rivals after eight weekends.

“I think Sawston & Babraham are the standout side this year,” admitted club captain Batch of the side who pipped them to the post as their league replacement group winners in 2020.

Club captain Darren Batch is determined to play his part in Sudbury ending the 2021 campaign as the highest ranked Suffolk side in the EAPL once again Picture: Mark Westley
Club captain Darren Batch is determined to play his part in Sudbury ending the 2021 campaign as the highest ranked Suffolk side in the EAPL once again Picture: Mark Westley

“If you look at their performances – they were totally dominant against Swardeston – and their squad and side is very good.”

But Sudbury have been buoyed by Saturday’s display in a hard-fought draw at home to Horsford, that saw them both take away 10 points to leave them seventh in the table.

Praising the individual performances of Sean Cooper (5-44) and Ben Parker (79) particularly, he added: “We are pleased to take 10 points out of the game.

“Adam (Mansfield, captain) spoke after the game about how pleased he was that we had bounced back and showed some fight that was missing in the last game against Saffron Walden, in what was our first red ball game of the year.”

Darren Batch pictured in the field against Horsford on Saturday Picture: Mecha Morton
Darren Batch pictured in the field against Horsford on Saturday Picture: Mecha Morton

Asked if they have had to reset their aims, given their current position in the table, he said: “I would just say the aim at the start of the season was to finish as high as we possibly can.

“At that stage it was first, but the aim will stay the same; we would like to finish as high as we can.

“Over the last few years we have been the top Suffolk club but Bury and Mildenhall will push us hard for that.”

Sudbury go into the weekend 32 points behind third-placed Bury and 21 adrift of fourth-placed Mildenhall, and Batch certainly thinks they can overturn that gap quickly.

Sudbury players celebrate one of five wickets for Sean Cooper in Saturday's draw with Horsford Picture: Mecha Morton
Sudbury players celebrate one of five wickets for Sean Cooper in Saturday's draw with Horsford Picture: Mecha Morton

“If you look at the table it is quite bunched up in that middle section and if we can string a few performances together, especially with draws available, it is really going to propel us up the league.”

Work commitments mean Billy Moulton-Day is not available for Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sudbury’s (188-5) defence of their Thank You NHS Suffolk Club T20 crown got under way at Friars Street on Wednesday with a 44-run win against Hadleigh (144-8).

Ryan Vickery hit the maximum 50 before having retired while Batch was caught on 46.

In reply, Paddy Sadler took 2-22 and Oliver Riddick 2-28.

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