Time to stand up and be counted, says Bury St Edmunds skipper Tom Huggins

SKIPPER Tom Huggins has called on his Bury St Edmunds side to stand up and be counted to avoid the possibility of relegation from the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

One of the inaugural members of the league, Bury won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, but are currently languishing just one place off the foot of the table.

The West Suffolk club have been Suffolk’s premier side for the last two decades, but have fallen behind both newcomers Copdock & Old Ipswichian and Sudbury this season.

Bury, without a league win so far, lost by 112 runs on Saturday after being bowled out for just 112 as Burwell recorded their first success of the summer.

Huggins, who has taken over the captaincy this season from Justin Bishop, said: “We have got talent throughout the side, but we are not performing our skills as well as we should be. Batting-wise we are a bit indisciplined. Certain people have shown glimpses of what they can do.

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“Simon Rees played well against Copdock, Mallards and again on Saturday, but has not gone on to make those into significant contributions, while Justin Bishop got 72 against Mallards and 38 on Saturday, but we are getting in and then getting ourselves out.

“All of us would say that is not good enough – we need to be making significant contributions.

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“Likewise with the bowling – we are bowling three good balls an over, but still going for six an over.

“It is frustrating, although we have fielded well apart from a few lapses against Great Witchingham, which was partially due to the hot weather and their batting performance.

“I am a big believer that if you look after yourself in a team the team will do well, but at the moment we are not practising hard enough and it is having a detrimental effect on a Saturday. I know everyone has jobs but if you want to perform at Premier League level you have to practise.”

Wicket-keeper James Strugeon, the 18-year-old son of former Bury gloveman Mick Sturgeon, has yet to play this season due to damaged ankle ligaments and deputy Ben Bellward broke a finger while keeping against Sudbury.

“We need to reduce the number of extras. We have been bowling both sides of the wicket and too many no balls and wides, and these add up and put more pressure on you when you are batting.

“Batting-wise it has been a struggle. Despite being strong on paper only myself, Justin Bishop and Simon Rees have got Premier League fifties but no-one else has and it is time for people to stand up and be counted.

“All it takes is one win, and if you string a couple of wins together suddenly you can find yourselves in mid-table.

“I am enjoying the captaincy, the only disappointing aspect is our performances so far. Everyone wants to do well – we just need to work harder and drag it back.”

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