SUFFOLK vice-captain Tom Huggins has backed his side to challenge for the Minor Counties Eastern Division title ahead of Sunday’s exciting derby opener against East Anglian rivals Norfolk.
The team welcome their rivals to Bury St Edmunds’ Victory Ground on Sunday (11am) for their three day, Jubilee Bank Holiday encounter, as the 10 team competition commences.
The squad will be made up of familiar faces, with the nucleus of last season’s side remaining much the same, including Bury St Edmunds’ Justin Bishop as captain, Huggins his deputy and Tom Rash, with Hassan Adnan again taking his place as the team’s professional player.
Suffolk’s only defeat of the last campaign came against tomorrow’s opponents – and Huggins can think of no better fixture to exact revenge to get the season off to the perfect start, as they aim to improve on their fifth place finish last time out.
“Playing Norfolk is a great way for us to start the campaign,” he said.
“It brings in that extra incentive to win because of the rivalry and it will certainly be a good challenge to start the season off against them.
“We will be looking to exact revenge on them after the defeat last season which was our only loss in the league.
“We have had the edge on them over one day matches but over three days they have tended to beat us so we certainly have a point to prove.
“That would be the perfect start to the season and hopefully will allow us to push on and get closer to winning it this year.
“We have never won it before, we have come close but never quite made it, so it would be great to change that.”
As well as the Minor Coutines campaign to look forward to, Suffolk also have the important matter of a Knockout Cup quarter-final encounter away to Staffordshire on Sunday, June 17, to focus on.
Huggins is looking forward to the tie, knowing the side are only two games away from a final appearance of the competition they last won back in 2007.
“We are only two games away from a cup final and so there is no bigger incentive needed for us to go and win against Staffordshire,” he added.
“We won it back in 2007 and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that again.”
n Meanwhile Bury St Edmunds battled their way to a hard-fought general draw with Great Witchingham on Saturday in their East Anglian Premier League encounter at the Victory Ground.
Chasing a mammoth score of 414-2 set by the visitors, they batted bravely to see out their 57 overs with 250-4, including an 136 (no) from Huggins, to grab a well earned draw.
On Sunday (11am) Bury travel to basement side Burwell.