Preview: Suffolk host Befordshire in Unicorns Championship
Suffolk’s cricketers want to rectify the disappointment of their Unicorns KO Trophy semi-final exit in their three-day game against Bedfordshire, starting on Sunday, writes Nick Garnham.
Head coach Andy Northcote said the defeat to Devon, who went through by virtue of losing fewer wickets, had hurt the players, who felt they had let the county down.
Suffolk return to Unicorns Championship action at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds, start 11am, after suffering the pain of defeat at Sidmouth CC last Sunday.
Northcote said: “The boys are bitterly disappointed and we know we let ourselves, and the county club, down towards the back end of the game.
“That’s not through lack of effort or ability, that’s just sport and what makes our great game beautiful. It hurts us all equally and makes us, as a group, wanting to rectify, starting on Sunday.
“I am extremely proud of them and what they have achieved. Two-and-a-half seasons in to my tenure and we can say we ended second in the championship, and have reached a quarter-final and a semi-final and with a largely Suffolk side, that’s amazing.
“The fact that we dug deep, got ourselves out of a hole and in to a position to win the semi against a good Minor County side was remarkable.
“One slip up towards the end and that’s how fine a margin we are talking about; disappointment or pure joy. I am a happy man, although we are not the side we want to be, particularly the three-day side as availability is light, but the players and skipper Adam Mansfield are doing everything I ask of them and more, and I believe in our methods so, in time, we will see success. I have no doubt about that.”
Former Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh returns to the side after missing the opening Unicorns Championship match at Staffordshire that resulted in a 185-run loss, but Suffolk are waiting on the availability of ex-Kent all-rounder Adam Ball before finalising their side.
Suffolk squad: Jaik Mickleburgh, Jack Beaumont, Adam Ball, Darren Ironside, Kyran Young, Ben Shepperson, Michael Comber, Josh Cantrell, Adam Mansfield (wkt & capt), Tom Rash, Jake Foley, Jonny Gallagher.