Tom Huggins’ three-year master-plan comes to fruition as Sudbury win title

Sudbury's first-team squad celebrate clinching the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League title. P

Sudbury's first-team squad celebrate clinching the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League title. Picture: RMG PHOTOGRAPHY

Three years ago, Tom Huggins predicted that Sudbury Cricket Club would win the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League title, for the first time in their history.

At the time, Sudbury were not even in the EAPL – they were stuck in Division One of the Two Counties Championship – and Huggins had only just made the move from Bury St Edmunds to Friars Street.

It looked an almost impossible task but, over a wet last weekend, Sudbury achieved just that by clinching the EAPL crown for the first time in the club’s 230-year history.

The Suffolk side won an amazing 16 of their 22 league fixtures, with just four defeats all summer, and were in pole position from the first weekend through to the very last.

Defending champions Swardeston, the only side who could catch them, were the visitors to Friars Street on Saturday in a title-decider, although in truth Sudbury only needed four bonus points to be assured of top spot.

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In the end, the match was a washout without a ball being bowled, so guaranteeing Sudbury the title by a healthy 21 points.

“Bizarrely, the plan I put forward three years ago was to win the EAPL title in 2017,” revealed Huggins.

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“But I’m not sure whether I even believed it would happen, let alone any of the other players!

“When I first joined the club, three years ago, we sat down and discussed what we wanted to achieve over the next three years. At the time, we were only in Division One, and most of the team said that it would be nice to finish in the top half of the EAPL in three years.

“I replied that we might as well aim even higher, and really challenge ourselves to go out and try and win the title.

“And it’s fantastic that we have managed to achieve this. I might get a few knocks for saying this, but I don’t think we have necessarily been the team with the best players in the league.

“However, I do think that we are the best team, collectively. Everyone has chipped in, and we have had a group of players who have all known their roles.

“We have all fought for each other, and every week someone has stood up and been counted. And it hasn’t been the same person every week. It’s been an incredible summer and I think we have deserved, it,” added former Suffolk skipper Huggins.

Sudbury’s success brings an end to Swardeston’s run of five straight titles.

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