Derby day duel

Old Buckenham, Norfolk. Old Buckenham Player - Terry Perry ANL-140827-152659001

Old Buckenham, Norfolk. Old Buckenham Player - Terry Perry ANL-140827-152659001

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Simon Cooper is hoping to end a topsy-turvy season on a high with a final day victory at local rivals Old Buckenham tomorrow (12.30pm).

Diss make the short trip to take on Bucks this weekend for their last game of the season, with opening batsman Cooper targeting a third consecutive win to potentially secure a top half finish in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division.

“The end of the season has come round quickly,” said Cooper, who scored a century to help Diss beat second-placed Sprowston by eight wickets at the weekend.

“The last two weeks we’ve had good wins, beating Downham the reigning champions and then Sprowston who are in second place.

“We want to end the season on a high note and end with three wins.”

Diss currently occupy sixth place in the Premier Division table, and would need to overhaul the seven point gap behind fifth-placed Downham tomorrow to achieve a top half finish in 2015.

Such has been the closeness between the teams in this year’s Premier Division, Diss are five points short of their 229 point tally of last season with one game to go, but will not be able to replicate their third place finish 12 months ago.

“It’s been a strange league this year,” Cooper said. “We’ve been inconsistent and have either been very good or very bad. It’s been like that for us for a few years now. On our day we can beat anyone, but equally anyone can beat us.

“The league is a lot closely matched than it has been before. We’ve beat all the sides above us like Fakenham, Downham and Sprowston at some point during the season.

“But then we’ve also lost to teams below us, so it’s been an unpredictable league.”

Diss’ rivals Buckenham are enjoying their best season since returning to the top flight in 2012, with Terry Perry’s side sitting in third place ahead of the final weekend.

A five wicket defeat to new champions Fakenham at the weekend saw their three match winning run come to an end, but Bucks will be looking to bounce back tomorrow and complete a double over Diss this season.

Tom Alexander took four wickets to help Buckenham win by two wickets when the two sides met at Rectory Meadow back in June, and Bucks captain Perry has hailed his young side’s efforts this year.

“It’s been a real team effort this year and it will be a nice atmosphere for the last game and hopefully we can end it with a win and keep third spot,” he said.

“Maybe we can push up to second if Sprowston slip up, but it’s been a good season for us and all the guys that have come in have done really well.”