Bury St Edmunds captain Sean Park blasts his batsmen after a heavy defeat at Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
Sudbury inflicted another heavy defeat on bottom club Bury St Edmunds, at Friars Street, to remain top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.
Saturday’s one-sided encounter saw dismal Bury bowled out for a paltry 79, before the completion of even 30 overs.
Sudbury reached their target inside 17 overs, for the loss of four wickets to seal a 12th win of the season, by a six-wicket margin.
The defeat prompted Bury skipper, Sean Park, to criticise the majority of his batsmen for “not applying themselves.”
Park rued: “It was another disappointing defeat. If you don’t score runs then you can’t win cricket matches, it’s as simple as that.
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“Too many of our batsmen did not apply themselves as best they should in the Premier League.
“There were so many soft dismissals, and there was no application. We threw away too many wickets, and 79 runs was never going to be enough – in fact, 179 runs would probably have not been enough either.
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“It’s really frustrating. In past seasons we have tended to click into gear by now, but it’s just not been happening this season.
“We have still yet to put in the complete performance. The nearest we came to achieving that was the draw at Swardeston.
“We have five games left, and we must win more games than we lose to stand a chance,” added a disappointed Park.
By contrast, beginning the day in top spot, but on the same number of points as Great Witchingham – and just ahead clear of third-placed Swardeston – in-form Sudbury are now a slender two points clear of the chasing duo, going into the last five matches of the season.
Defending champions Swardeston, who have won the title for the last five years, defeated Norfolk rivals Great Witchingham by 28 runs in a high-scoring affair at The Common.
Swardeston have therefore leapfrogged their rivals into second spot – they play away at Sudbury on the final day of the season, which could be a title decider.
Sudbury skipper, Tom Huggins, won the toss and elected to field, and it was he who was the chief destroyer of Bury’s disappointing innings.
Ben Curran (14) and Dominic Manthorpe (16) did share an opening partnership of 34, but after that the visitors subsided in rather worrying but very familiar fashion.
Huggins made the initial breakthrough, having Manthorpe superbly caught by Kenny Moulton-Day at mid-wicket. Sadly, Manthorpe’s 16 was to be the highest score of the innings.
But it was Jonathan Gallagher who took the main scalp of Daron Cruickshank. He had the West Indian all-rounder caught behind by wicketkeeper Adam Mansfield for just 10.
In all, Bury lost all 10 wickets for the addition of just 45 runs, including losing their last eight wickets for a mere 29 runs, a very poor showing. Cruickshank was the third wicket to fall, with the score on 50, Gallagher going on to record figures of 7-1-25-2.
But it was Huggins who led the way. He finished with a superb analysis of 10-3-22-5, while fast bowler Dustin Melton’s seven overs cost just 11 runs, and yielded one wicket.
Sudbury did lose teenager Keelan Waldock for a duck, caught by wicketkeeper Max Whittaker off the bowling of Alistair Allchin, as the hosts’ reply began tentatively. Huggins also didn’t stay long at the crease, bowled by Manthorpe for six, to leave the total on 20 for two.
However, Suffolk county skipper Adam Mansfield contributed 18 at No. 3, before he became Manthorpe’s second victim, taking a nick to wicketkeeper Whittaker.
Ben Reece struck a typically robust 27 off just 17 balls, including five boundaries, to ensure that victory would be achieved in super-quick time.
Ben Parker was unbeaten on 11 at the end, while Manthorpe at least impressed for Bury with figures of 6-1-19-2.
Bury have only won one game all season, from 17 matches, but they are still not completely cast adrift at the foot of the table – one team goes down – due to second-from-bottom Horsford’s recent 30-point deduction for hosting an unfit pitch against Copdock.
Bury skipper Park confirmed: “Horsford’s points deduction has given us the sniff of a chance. One win and we will be virtually level with them.
“But our batsmen have got to show a lot more application to give us an opportunity,” added the South African all-rounder.
Bury, who are currently 20 points behind Horsford, face another tough challenge this Saturday when they entertain defending champions Swardeston at the Victory Ground.