Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall captains preview their early season East Anglian Premier League derby at Wamil Way this weekend
“Everybody loves a derby day.” That was the declaration from Sean Park ahead of Bury St Edmunds visiting rivals Mildenhall in the first local derby of the season this weekend.
The two sides meet at Wamil Way tomorrow (11am), with Bury having had the better start in these early weeks of the new East Anglian Premier League season, picking up 42 points from their first three games.
Meanwhile, Mildenhall have tasted defeat in all of their opening three fixtures, and Saturday’s hosts sit bottom of the fledgling table with 11 points to their name.
Bury captain Park says confidence is much higher in the Victory Ground dressing room at this early stage of the season than it has been at the same point for several years, and has praised the impact new signings Justin Broad, Ben Seabrookand Daniel Thornhill Moriarty have had so far.
“Sitting in the dressing room now, there’s much more positivity than there has been for the last three or four seasons,” Park said.
“We’ve got a really good group of guys here and the three boys that have come in; Ben, Dan and Justin, are younger guys, but are very experienced cricketers too.
“We’re playing some really good cricket at the moment and confidence is high. Mildenhall are bottom of the league right now, so psychologically you could say we have the edge.
“But cricket is a game which can change very quickly. One minute you can be at the top of your game, and then the next you can have a bad day.
“On paper, Mildenhall have got a very good side and we’re still very early in the season. I’m expecting a very competitive game.”
Park is unavailable for this weekend’s derby, with George Loyd, who missed last Saturday’s abandoned game at Copdock & Old Ipswichian, taking his place.
James McKinney makes his first appearance for the first team tomorrow, as Tom Curran drops down to play for the seconds.
Meanwhile, Tom Rash, Mildenhall’s captain, has challenged his players to kickstart their campaign during Saturday’s home derby against Bury.
Mildenhall, who finished third last term, opened up with a 12-run loss at newly-promoted Saffron Walden before Horsford dished out a 112-run hammering at Wamil Way.
And things did not improve during last weekend’s trip to Swardeston, which Mildenhall lost by nine wickets after being bowled out for just 85.
“It is really disappointing because we had such a good build up over the winter, but it seems like since we got outdoors everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” said the skipper.
“We have not had much luck, but also we have been nowhere near our standards.
“It is frustrating and we have had an honest chat about things. It is down to us to put it right and I am sure we will because so far we have played at about two out of 10, which is nowhere near enough.
“Myself as captain and the senior players need to start dragging us through games and a fantastic place to start would be with the derby on Saturday.
“We lost narrowly to Bury in a friendly but it was a rotated squad we put out, so it will be a different side that faces them this time around.”
It was a wash out for Bury’s Saturday sides at the weekend, as the first team’s trip to Copdock was abandoned.
Alastair Allchin (3-31) and Josh Cantrell (3-16) took three wickets apiece, while wicket keeper Alfie Marston was busy with five catches and a stumping, as the home side were bowled out for 121.
Bury’s reply, which stood at 25-2 after early departures for openers Marston and Tom Curran, was cut short as rain stopped play.
Bury Sunday lost by nine wickets over at Acton. Despite a fast 64 from Ben Whittaker, which included five sixes, Bury were bowled out for 150.
In reply, Acton got off to a strong start with both openers scoring quickly, and Whittaker picked up the only wicket as the hosts went on to 151-1.
Greene King players of the week Alfie Marston, Alistair Allchin, Josh Cantrell and Ben Whittaker.