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Frustrated Bury captain reacts to team’s bottom-of-the-table batting woes

Sean Park admits his young Bury St Edmunds side are still struggling in the East Anglian Premier League, with concerns that the players are ‘not learning quickly enough’.

The Victory Ground captain spoke of four years of relegation battles, as their fourth loss of the 2018 campaign saw them drop to the bottom of the EAPL. But he also felt it was a vicious cycle, with the struggles taking a toll on the confidence of the team – leading to worse performances.

“It’s a confidence game,” he said. “And, at this stage, they have none.

“The ability is there, so we have to find a way to bring that out. The boys trained hard over the winter so it’s not for a lack of effort.”

There was exasperation in his voice as he reacted to Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club poor position after just seven fixtures.

The captain is frustrated by his team’s batting struggles, which saw them only able to post a total of 128 in their seven wicket loss at home to Norwich on Saturday.

It was a total that Norwich comfortably reached for the loss of only three wickets, needing only 39 overs to secure maximum points from the bruising encounter for the Victory Ground side.

Park said it was not ideal to lose the toss and have to bat first, but that was ‘no excuse’ for the poor performance that followed.

They lost the first two wickets within one over and never recovered, Park (46) proving the only man capable of a decent knock on the day.

The extras column (23) had the second best total for Bury as they limped to 128 runs.

Norwich made short work of the reply, despite weak signs of a Bury comeback with George Loyd capturing the first wicket on 23-1.

But Jack Newby (63 not out) steered his side from the front to a comfortable 132-3, condemning Bury to their fourth loss – with just one win – of the season.

Park said: “We’re not even giving ourselves a chance with a run total like that.

“There’s no excuse, we were terrible with the bat and we won’t stay at this level with performances like that.

“We’ve barely put any pressure on teams this season, we need to do better or this will be our last at this level.

“It was a very disappointing game of cricket, it was a poor performance and there is no excuse.

“If we lost but still played well, then that would be different, but we’re handing games away.”

He called on his players to ‘take some individual responsibility’ and focus on producing a ‘good performance for themselves’.

“We can’t just rely on Murray (Commins – their overseas professional) to do the business each week, particularly without the strength of Josh Cantrell (suspected hand fracture) and Dom Manthorpe (work commitments) at the moment,” he said.

“Not having those two has definitely hurt us early on this season, but that’s not going to change so I need the others to step up.

“It’s frustrating, they’ve put in some hard work over the winter so I’m not questioning their commitment, but I do want to see the rewards of this hard work soon.”

Bury St Edmunds travel to Horsford on Saturday (11am), the team that finished bottom – one place below Bury – last season and Park hopes to see a reaction from his side.

“That’s the priority for the rest of the season now,” he said. “To do well with the bat.

“We want the opposition to have to work at it, rather than handing it to them, starting with Horsford.”

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