'It is getting more desperate' - Bury St Edmunds captain Sean Park
PUBLISHED: 11:34 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:34 31 July 2018
Bury St Edmunds' experienced captain, Sean Park, has "accepted" that The Victory Ground club are likely to be involved in an end-of-season play-off match to determine whether they will still be in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League next season.
After several years of struggle to avoid relegation, Bury look certain to finish rock-bottom of the league this summer, having won just one of their first 15 matches of the campaign.
The basement dwellers are a massive 67 points adrift of their closest rivals, with just seven matches remaining.
In past years, the bottom club in the EAPL has faced a play-off game against the champions from one of three feeder leagues – the Two Counties Championship, Norfolk Alliance or Cambs & Hunts Premier League – with the winners playing in the EAPL the following season.
There was no play-off at the end of last summer, because none of the three champions wanted to be considered for promotion, including Two Counties winners Elmstead, but that is unlikely to be the case in 2018.
Park explained: “I think we have to accept it – we have to accept we are going to be in a play-off this season. We need to start finding some form, because it will be better to go into the play-off game in the right frame of mind, playing positive cricket, rather than being hammered every week.
“The League rules have changed for this season. It now means that the first and second teams in each of the three leagues can now apply for the play-offs.
“That means there will be six teams in the hunt, so I’ll be surprised if no one decides to go for promotion,” added Park.
Bury produced one of their best displays of the season, when taking former champions Swardeston to the last eight balls of their match on Saturday, before losing by four wickets. Park himself top-scored with 88 in a total of 245 for six.
Park insisted: We’ll keep plugging away, but it is getting more desperate with every weekend that passes. But that’s where we are at.”