Diss captain Lewis Taylor looks ahead to their 2023 season back in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division One
Lewis Taylor wants to rediscover a winning feeling at Diss in their first season back in Lacons Brewery Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division One.
Diss lost their top flight status after finishing second from bottom in the Premier Division in 2022, in a campaign which saw them win just five games all year.
Three of those victories came in the final month of the season, but it was not enough to avoid relegation from the Norfolk Cricket Alliance’s top division.
Diss host Bradenham on the opening day of the new season tomorrow (12pm), and captain Taylor, while not ruling out a promotion push, is focusing on a year of consolidation at Rectory Meadow.
“It was disappointing to get relegated,” Taylor said. “However, we weren’t good enough over the whole season.
“We were also a little bit unfortunate with injuries and availability, particularly in the first half of the season.
“We had Mark Williamson, who has been arguably Diss’ best bowler for the past five or 10 years, unavailable for the first nine or 10 games.
“We had one or two others unavailable for various other reasons and we were going into games with our hands tied really. In some instances two or three of our best players were unavailable.
“It was a tough season for us, but ultimately we weren’t good enough and we have dropped down a division.
“I think it could help us in the long run. It will allow us to regroup this year, and you never know, we might make a push to get promotion back to the Premier Division if things fall right for us.
“If I’m completely honest, I’m looking to consolidate. We’ve said as a group if we did finish mid table we wouldn’t be unhappy with that.
“Last year we won five games all year and obviously it's difficult for morale. This year we’re just looking to get a good number of wins and see where that takes us.”
Despite dropping down a division, Diss skipper Taylor has been able to retain almost the same squad from the last campaign, with the sole departure being all-rounder James Harbour, who has gone back to former club Dereham.
“We’re basically the same side,” Taylor said. “We’ve lost James Harbour, who was a good asset for us last year.
“He took over 20 wickets and he got some handy runs as well. It’s a loss for us but he’s moved back to Dereham.
“Being in a lower division we don’t have an overseas player this year.
“We’ve tried to bring in a couple of people with no success.
“Unfortunately, at the moment it’s looking like more and more money is coming into the local game, which is a bit of a shame. We’re not prepared to pay players.
“We’ve got a good core of players again and fingers crossed those players will stay fit and available and we’ll win plenty of games.”
Lacons Brewery Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division One opening day fixtures: Diss v Bradenham, Martham v Sheringham, Old Buckenham v Swardeston II, Sprowston v Downham Stow II, Thetford Town v Acle.