Bury St Edmunds captain Tom Huggins has urged the club’s fringe players to come to the fore and impress in order to ease relegation fears.
The Victory Ground-based outfit still remain rooted to the foot of the East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) table and in search of a maiden win after a six-wicket defeat to leaders Swardeston, despite centuries from Justin Bishop (118) and 18-year-old Toby Adams (119).
A lot of the onus has been on the more-established players this season with Huggins and vice-captain Bishop accounting for more than 40 per cent of the club’s total runs and wickets, with only Matt Hunn claiming more wickets than the pair.
And despite conceding that is to be expected, after witnessing Adams star with his first century at that level, Huggins — who will be without the centurion for the visit of Copdock and Old Ipswichian tomorrow (11am) — has called upon other squad players to ease the increasing pressure.
“It was disappointing to lose after batting so strongly but that has been the story of our season, we’re not consistent enough,” he said.
“However, Toby was brilliant and that bodes well for us.
“Although myself and Justin should be leading by example it proves that we have that collective to be able to chip in.
“Having players missing at different times means that needs to be the case to ease pressure on the established players to perform freely.
“I think we have players capable of doing that and hopefully we can prove that against Copdock.”
Second-bottom Woolpit go in search of their third consecutive EAPL victory when they travel to Horsford tomorrow (11am).
The newly-promoted side defeated second-placed Cambridge Granta on Saturday — thanks mainly to Craig Estlea’s unbeaten 125 — to follow up their Suffolk derby win at Sudbury from the week before.
Those successes have eased their relegation worries slightly by stretching their advantage over rock-bottom Bury to 48 points.
“I’m absolutely stoked with our last two performances,” said Woolpit captain Mike Jones. “Craig batted out of his skin on Saturday.”
The back-to-back victories have also closed the gap on the sides above them — they trail third-bottom Sudbury by just five points, with a further point to fourth-bottom Great Witchingham and another to tomorrow’s opponents Horsford, who are fifth from bottom.
Jones added: “Horsford are just seven points ahead of us, so we are targeting a win to overtake them and we’ll be back to full strength with Andy Northcote returning from international duty with Italy.”
South African-born Northcote, who qualifies for Italy because he has an Italian mother, played a pivotal role in his adopted nation reaching the next stage of the ICC World Twenty 20 qualifiers.
Northcote struck an unbeaten 68 to help Italy see off Denmark by 18 runs and will now play the final qualifying tournament in October against the likes of the Netherlands and Ireland.
n Suffolk travel to Buckinghamshire for their latest three-day Minor Counties Championship match on Sunday.
The side, captained by Bury’s Justin Bishop, head into the match against second-bottom Bucks riding high at the summit of the Eastern Division.
They are three points clear of second-placed Hertfordshire and know they will qualify for the final against the winners of the Western Division if they take maximum points from their final three games.
Suffolk shared the Minor Counties Championship title with Cheshire in 2005 and last won it outright in 1979.
Cornwall are the reigning champions.