Diss make light of tough league start

Diss could have been forgiven for viewing the 2011 fixture list with some trepidation after being pitted against last year's champions and runners-up in the first two Premier Division games.

But after disposing of both Downham and North Runcton in relatively comfortable fashion, Simon Cooper's side unexpectedly find themselves setting the early pace at the top of the table.

Cooper admitted to being slightly surprised by his team's strong start, adding: 'Obviously it's been a brilliant start and beyond our expectations really. We probably didn't go into the game against Downham expecting to win, simply because they'd only lost once in three years.

'But we have thoroughly deserved both our wins and hopefully it will continue.'

Despite their fine start, Cooper insisted it was too early to talk of a title challenge: 'There are a lot of good sides in the league,' he said. 'Fakenham will be very strong and Downham are going to be stronger as the season progresses. For us it's just a case of trying to be consistent.

'Our bowling and fielding has been excellent so far. We won our two pre-season games and I think that always helps, to have that momentum.'

Diss have steadfastly refused to recruit an overseas player, a policy which Cooper admits could potentially hamper their chances of staying at the top. Sprowston, who lie second after a similarly strong start, are the only other Premier Division side to eschew the opportunity to bring in a foreign import, although they have instead strengthened with the addition of two players from the East Anglian Premier League.

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Cooper added: 'If sides have got first class cricketers you would expect that to make a big difference. But that's the decision we have made and we just have to get on with it, there's no point in harping on about it.'

Sprowston's strong start faces a stern test tomorrow when they visit Downham, who recovered from their opening day defeat with a winning draw last weekend.

Fakenham were without a game last weekend but return to action with a trip to Stow tomorrow.