Catley hopes purple patch will continue
CRICKET: Top meets second tomorrow in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship as leaders Halstead entertain Tattingstone.These are the only two unbeaten Division One sides and even at this stage of the season, this game could be crucial in the title destination.
TOP meets second tomorrow in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship as leaders Halstead entertain Tattingstone.
These are the only two unbeaten Division One sides and even at this stage of the season, this game could be crucial in the title destination.
Halstead were without a game last weekend and Tattingstone had a convincing 46-run victory against Wivenhoe with opening batsman Stuart Hammond hitting 111.
Bury St Edmunds seconds entertain Exning who after an eight-wicket defeat against Copdock have responded in style with two convincing victories against Browns and Mistley. They have also recorded
victories in the DFDS Suffolk Cup against Easton and a win against Worlington in the Sunday Challenge.
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A factor in Exning's good run is the form shown by batsman Tim Catley who has hit three centuries in the last three weeks. He scored 107 not out v Easton, 109 against Mistley and 100 at Worlington and he said he has been a bit lucky in making the big scores but has worked hard to improve his batting.
"I was dropped when I was in the 20s in all three matches and I think that I have just hit a bit of a purple patch," said Catley.
"At the start of the season I wanted to put more application into my batting and try to get back in the Suffolk side. I have worked on the basics and I have tried to cut out silly shots and hit the ball straighter and try to go after the bad ball. I don't want to be over confident though and every innings starts fresh at nought and you have to do it all again."
Catley sees Copdock &OIs and Halstead as the main threats to challenge for the title Exning won last season and he hopes they are not forced to regret their defeat against Copdock in their first league game.
"It wasn't a very good start to the season. We didn't turn up and batted abysmally," said Catley, as his side only made 108. "It put us on a real downer, but be must try to win every other game and hope Copdock fall away like they did last year."
Catley is expected to play in the Suffolk side on Wednesday when they face Northants in a C&G Trophy third round match at Bury St Edmunds and is quietly confident of a shock victory.
He said: "I think we have a fairly good chance though we obviously have to show them respect. It is our cup final and if we put them under pressure early on then I would back ourselves if it came to a run chase."
Elsewhere in the division Browns are looking for their first league victory after three successive defeats, but will have a tough task against Sudbury who beat Copdock & OIs by five runs last weekend. Browns have struggled this campaign and their total of 53 all out against Bury came at the desperately slow rate of slightly more than one an over with only Brendan Meagher reaching double figures.
Copdock suffered their first league defeat of the season last week after a late batting collapse and will be hoping to get back on track at Wivenhoe.
In Division Two, Ipswich and East Suffolk will be hopeful they can finally see some action as they are the only side in any of the divisions not to have played yet.
Their game scheduled for last week against Felixstowe was cancelled due to the coastal side withdrawing from the league due to a lack of players and they themselves will be without a number of players due to a stag weekend celebration.
They have not played for three consecutive weeks after games at home against Easton then a trip to Elmstead Grasshoppers were declared void due to the weather.
There is also a top of the table clash in this division with second-placed Coggeshall entertaining early leaders Frinton while Easton, currently lying in fifth place after one victory and one defeat, travel to Mildenhall.
Elsewhere, St Margaret's entertain Brightlingsea in Division Three and Division Four leaders Achilles are at home to Stowmarket. Achilles have completed one match and gained all 20 points on offer thanks to a comfortable eight-wicket victory against Hadleigh last week.
East Bergholt are just behind Achilles in that division and they are at home to Eight Ash Green who recorded their first league victory with a 87-run victory against Clacton last Saturday.
Debenham, in Division Five are at Harwich seconds with Ipswich and East Suffolk seconds at home to Long Melford, while Browns seconds and Maldon seconds meet at Rushmere.
There are also a round of games taking place in the Sunday Challlenge with the pick of these looking to be Tattingstone, against Frinton.