Diss reaping the rewards of their fresh approach

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A ‘relaxed atmosphere’ has been one of the leading factors behind Diss CC’s positive start to the new Cecil Amey Opticians Norfolk Cricket Alliance League Division One campaign.

That is the opinion of captain Mark Williamson, who has overseen three victories from the first four competitive outings of 2017.

That form is a far cry from last season when the Rectory Meadow-based side struggled to find any consistency, culminating in their Premier Division relegation.

Nevertheless, after Saturday’s 150-run victory over Mattishall, Williamson has stressed that the senior squad is now much more of a positive environment to be a part of.

“The good results have obviously helped with the good morale, but there was more of a positive vibe before the season had even started,” said the skipper.

“It is much more of a happy camp and everyone is enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.

“We are playing in a new league and with the younger players coming through, it has brought a major freshness to the club.

“We are getting big numbers to training as well. Sometimes there are 20 players there, whereas last year you would be lucky to find seven or eight.

“It has been a fun few weeks and we would definitely have taken this start had it been offered to us.”

The trio of wins has seen third-placed Diss put 70 points on the board, just four shy of table-topping Bradfield.

While the season may still be very much in its infancy, early results would suggest that Williamson has a squad at his disposal capable of challenging for an immediate return to Norfolk’s top flight.

It may not pan out that way of course, but ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Dereham (1pm), the skipper has stressed complacency will not be their downfall.

“We have already spoken to the lads about not letting complacency become an issue,” he added.

“When you string some wins together, it can easily creep in.

“We need to be confident, not complacent, and make sure we keep doing the right things.

“If we play that way against Dereham I am confident we can win the game, but anything less and we will be in trouble.”

A knee injury has ruled Stuart Taylor out of the game against Dereham, but Diss have been boosted by the return of former captain James Wilby, who is set to make his first appearance of the season after a knee problem.