Duo return for relegation showdownAugust 18, 2022
EXPERIENCED duo Tom Rash and Ben Shepperson return to the Suffolk squad for Sunday’s NCCA Championship relegation battle against Bedfordshire.
Both were unavailable for the five-wicket win against Staffordshire earlier this week that kept alive Suffolk’s chances of avoiding the drop into Eastern Division Two.
Luke Froggatt is the player to drop out as Suffolk head to Flitwick CC for their final three-day fixture of the season buoyed by their victory over Staffordshire but knowing that only another win will save them.
After three rounds of matches Suffolk sit bottom of the Eastern Division One table on 29 points, with Norfolk and Bedfordshire just above them on 35 and 36 points respectively.
It is almost impossible for Suffolk to draw against Bedfordshire and finish above them or Norfolk, so they have to win to relegate either this weekend’s opponents or their old rivals.
Suffolk skipper Jack Beaumont, who said before the match at Checkley CC that his side needed to continue to stick together, praised their ‘simply superb’ performance.
He said: “After losing the toss and being straight up against it on a good pitch on which Staffordshire scored 423, it was a monumental effort from our openers Darren Ironside and Michael Godwin before the close on day one to see out the overs and show plenty of fight against a good bowling attack before being followed up by Alex Oxley on the morning of day two.
“This allowed us to get a proper foothold into the game, something which we have lacked in previous performances, and from there the boys were simply superb.
“I cannot fault Darren’s performance; he was absolutely magnificent with the bat all game and then it was his magic again at the end of day two with the ball that gave us a way into the game.
“I was also extremely proud of the way we played throughout the third and final day. Firstly, Ben Claydon produced a monumental bowling effort of 11 overs in a row to remove the remaining Staffs batters and then for the way we batted all day.
“I could not fault it, especially not forgetting with the added pressure of knowing the Beds versus Norfolk result and that we really needed to win the game against what was a very experienced and strong bowling line-up on a day-three wicket!”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s match Beaumont said: “Unfortunately, in order to make way for the experience of Tom Rash and Ben Shepperson, Luke Froggatt misses out, although I want to emphasise that I think Luke has played very well for us this season, giving absolutely everything, and I am sure he is one that will represent Suffolk many more times and claim plenty more wickets in the future.
“We know this is a big game for us and our season although I believe if we play like we just have done and do the basics well I see no reason why we cannot force a positive result from the game.
“I am extremely excited for what is ahead this weekend and I have no doubt the whole team feel the same and are willing to give their all for the Lion!”
Suffolk squad: Michael Godwin, Darren Ironside, Alex Oxley, George Rhodes, Ben Claydon, Ben Parker, Ben Shepperson, Jack Beaumont (capt), Josh Cantrell, Jacob Marston (wkt), Tom Rash, Dan Shanks.
Suffolk’s Luke Froggatt (facing camera) is pictured above celebrating one of his two first-innings wickets against Staffordshire at Checkley CC.
Categorised in: Suffolk CCC