Suffolk at full-strength for ‘massive’ trophy semi-final in Devon
PUBLISHED: 10:31 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:31 29 June 2018
Suffolk are anticipating fielding their strongest possible side for Sunday’s ‘massive’ Unicorns KO Trophy semi-final away to Devon, writes Nick Garnham.
Former Essex all-rounder Mike Comber, who featured in the three-day Unicorns Championship defeat to Staffordshire earlier this week, gets the nod over fellow all-rounder Darren Ironside.
Comber made his first appearance for Suffolk this season in the 185-run loss to Staffordshire in their opening Unicorns Championship match of the campaign.
Head coach Andy Northcote said: “It is absolutely the strongest side we can put out, and it is lovely to be able to field a ‘home grown’ side bar one professional in Adam Ball.”
The ‘home grown’ side encompasses players selected from clubs who play in the East Anglian Premier League which also includes Comber’s Frinton team-mates Kyran Young and ex-Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh.
Northcote said it would have been a ‘huge task’ to request that the Suffolk players’ clubs release them from Saturday’s EAPL fixtures.
However, the county have hired the Essex CCC team coach to travel to Devon on Saturday night for the match at Sidmouth CC, with Sunday’s start time pushed back an hour until 12 noon.
Northcote continued: “It is a massive game for us and one of the reasons why we play cricket.
“We know we will be up against it as the players will play for their clubs on Saturday afternoon, before the five hours’ drive down to Devon and then catching around five hours sleep.
“We will be playing against a side who won this competition in 2014, but those factors will make it even sweeter if we do win.
“It will be the first time that most of our players will have travelled on a team coach to a game at this level, so it will be a big occasion and one we are looking forward to.”
Ex-kent all-rounder Ball and Mickleburgh plus Sudbury duo Darren Batch and James Poulson all return after missing the Staffordshire match through work commitments.
Suffolk side: Jaik Mickleburgh, Jake Foley, Adam Ball, Kyran Young, Darren Batch, Ben Shepperson, Mike Comber, Josh Cantrell, James Poulson, Adam Mansfield (wkt & capt), Tom Rash. 12th man: Darren Ironside.