Bury St Edmunds captain Sean Park knows his side could still finish bottom and retain their Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League status — but he says he is not prepared to take any chances.
A win at Postwick against Norwich tomorrow (11am) coupled with a Horsford defeat at home to current leaders Sudbury could ensure Bury guarantee their top tier status for another season.
But failure to record a win in their penultimate 2017 fixture would ensure a nervy final day when The Victory Ground hosts current fourth-placed side Cambridge Granta a week tomorrow.
“We have got the slightly easier game against Norwich while Horsford have got Sudbury, who can’t really afford to slip-up in the race for the title, so we will be hoping they do us a favour on Saturday,” said Park, whose side were thankful for the four bonus points collected in the 84-run defeat at home to Vauxhall Mallards in their most recent outing, which kept them three points above the assigned relegation place.
“We are looking at it that it is pretty much a must-win for us on Saturday.
“We’ve all heard that the team that are currently at the top of the Suffolk and Norfolk leagues have expressed a wish not to go up into the Premier League and the side who look to be the winners in Cambridgeshire league could be going into the Leicestershire league. But we cannot rely on hearsay as if one of them suddenly decides they want to join the Premier League we could be in trouble.
“But with two games to go we know it is in our own hands.”
The Mallards game saw Bury elect to bowl on a difficult wicket to bat on, but they were unable to make a breakthrough until the visitors had soared to 135.
Despite Daron Cruickshank and James Kinney taking a pair of wickets each, Mallards set a challenging total of 259-5.
Bury’s batsmen were unable to put together any solid partnerships to chase it down though, getting bowled out for 175 with Allistair Allchin’s 31 from 56 balls the highest individual score.
Allchin, along with wicketkeeper James Sturgeon, will be missing tomorrow (other commitments) but schoolboy seamer George Lloyd is set to come in for only his second ever taste of Premier League cricket.
“He got two or three wickets when he came in while I was away in South Africa and he has been doing very well with the seconds,” said Park.
n Bury St Edmunds II (226-9) kept their promotion hopes alive in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Three with a thrilling two-run win at leaders Sudbury II (224-8) to put them within 31 points of the top two with two games to play.
Hugh Stanton top scored with 64 while Ben Whittaker made a useful 45 and Tom Curran scored four sixes in a brisk 38. Whittaker starred with the bowl, claiming four wickets as the hosts game up agonizingly short. Bury second side host Brockley tomorrow (12pm).
n Bury St Edmunds III (142) lost at St Osyth (143-4) by six wickets, but picked up four bonus points to ensure survival in Division Six, which earlier in the campaign had not seemed probable.
Greene King players of the week: Hugh Stanton, Ben Whiitaker and Tom Curran.