East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) release 2020 fixture list
The East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) have released their provisional fixture list for the 2020 league campaign.
The new season is set to begin on Saturday, April 18 – the same day as the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship – with league newcomer Sawston & Babraham Cricket Club from the Whiting & Partners Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Premier League.
It will be the first season without Vauxhall Mallards since the 1999 inception of the EAPL, who were forced to fold at the end of the 2019 season.
But the arrival of Sawston – who have remained unbeaten at home for more than three seasons and went all of 2019 without tasting defeat – suggested they will be worthy replacements.
The club saw off the winners of both the Norfolk Cricket Alliance and Two Counties Championship in the EAPL play-offs relatively comfortably, to secure a place in the region's top flight for the first time ever.
Sawston & Babraham will travel to Burwell & Exning in their maiden EAPL fixture on Saturday, April 19.
Sawston's first home game will be the following Saturday, with the side set to host reigning EAPL champions Frinton-on-Sea.
On May 9 – which appears to be the date set for the derby matches – Sawston will welcome Saffron & Walden to their Spicer Sports Ground.
Burwell, meanwhile, will hope to get their 2020 campaign off to a good start as they look to avoid the struggles of last season, where they wrapped up second-from-bottom.
After their season opener at home to Sawston, they will travel to Copdock & Old Ipswichian on April 25 for their first away fixture.
Burwell will host rivals Sudbury on May 9.
The 2018 EAPL champions will also begin their campaign at home, with Sudbury – who finished third this summer – due to host Cambridge on the league's opening weekend.
Their first away game will be at Great Witchingham on April 25.
Bury St Edmunds will be looking to build on their positive midtable finish last time out, beginning away to Horsford on April 18.
Bury appeared to put an end to the struggles of their last few seasons, which has seen them repeatedly need to pull off an upset to maintain their EAPL status, with seven wins and two draws from their 17 fixtures (five were abandoned or cancelled).
But with Horsford, who finished fourth last term, followed by second-placed Swardeston – at their Victory Ground base – on April 25 is not an easy beginning.
They will travel to Mildenhall on May 9 for the league derby encounter.
Mildenhall will begin away to Saffron Walden on the league's opening weekend, as they target a better finish than 10th (of 12) in 2019.
It is a good tie to begin, against the side that finished one place and just 10 points above them this summer.
Mildenhall will then follow that with their first home match of the season against Horsford.
All games are set to begin at 11am.