Newman's strugglers facing ultimate test

Struggling at the foot of the league is not a situation Paul Newman has found himself in many times during his long playing career.But the Horsford captain is hoping it will bring out the best in himself and his team-mates as the EAPL's bottom side prepare to face runaway leaders Swardeston tomorrow.

Struggling at the foot of the league is not a situation Paul Newman has found himself in many times during his long playing career.

But the Horsford captain is hoping it will bring out the best in himself and his team-mates as the EAPL's bottom side prepare to face runaway leaders Swardeston tomorrow.

Swardeston have won all five of their games so far, while Newman's men are still waiting for their first league victory of the campaign.

Newman said: "I have been used to contesting finals and competing for trophies, so it is quite strange for me being at the bottom of the league.


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"But I hope it will bring out some different attributes in myself and the rest of the team so that we can get out of this mess."

The captain readily accepts his side find themselves where they deserve to be in the table and does not hold back in summing up the reasons for their predicament.

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He said: "We've not shown the toughness I would expect from one of my sides and we have not been switched on.

"We have not got anywhere near a level of performance which is acceptable to me and I have made my thoughts quite clear to the players.

"We need a performance to kick start our season and I have to believe that will come in our next game, which happens to be against Swardeston."

The leaders are looking a formidable outfit, with Jaden Hatwell in outstanding batting form and Mark Thomas and Michael Eccles wreaking havoc with the ball.

Newman said: "I am not surprised at how well they have started because they were not that far behind Bury last year, and to win five out of five says it all.

"I know their captain, Mark Thomas, well enough to know that in a local derby he will not let his team rest on their laurels and there is no question that they will be up for it.

"Most of all though, they will want to win the league because they have not won the EAPL title yet, but they have set their stall out to do it this year."

On Sunday, Horsford host Norwich in the Carter Cup, a competition which Newman earmarked at the start of the season as one that he wanted his side to do well in.

It is the only all-EAPL tie of the round and Newman said: "We've had no luck with the draw and it would have been nice to play an EAPL side when we were in better form.

"They had the better of our draw against them in the league last Saturday so their confidence may be slightly higher than ours, but we will be back to full strength this weekend.

"We had two great games against them in the league last year and I expect this to have the same intensity and passion and I hope we can pull a win out of the hat."

Elsewhere in the EAPL tomorrow, Vauxhall Mallards host Fakenham, who picked up their first win last weekend, while Norwich travel to Clacton and Great Witchingham are at Godmanchester.

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