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East Anglian Premier League round-up: Title race goes down to the wire as Swardeston and Sudbury win again

Joe Gatting scored an unbeaten 102 for Swardeston at Mildenhall. 
Picture: Nick Butcher

Joe Gatting scored an unbeaten 102 for Swardeston at Mildenhall. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

The title race has come down to the final day of the season in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

Swardeston have managed to keep pace with Sudbury in recent weeks, ahead of their trip to face the leaders in Suffolk next Saturday.

The reigning champions won by 116 runs at Mildenhall on Duckworth-Lewis Method due to rain holding up proceedings. Joe Gatting led the way with an unbeaten 102, joined by Peter Lambert unbeaten on 54 at the end of the innings as the visitors posted a total of 290 for four.

Mildenhall were then at 53 for five when the game finished, thanks largely to a rapid spell from Michael Eccles, taking three for two in just four overs, three of which were maidens.

The victory keeps Swardeston 21 points behind Sudbury ahead of next weekend’s title decider, as they search for their sixth successive title, who left Horsford facing down the barrel of relegation with a 59-run victory at Manor Park.

Tom Nudd and Ryan Findlay both took three wickets to dismiss the leaders for 240, after openers Tom Huggins (115) and Adam Mansfield (74) had put on 150 as a partnership.

Horsford made a stuttering start before Jonathan Crowe (64) and Chris Brown (50) put on a seventh-wicket stand of 87 runs to provide some resistance, before falling for 181.

That leaves Ryan Findlay’s side bottom and 21 points adrift of Bury St Edmunds, however relegation doesn’t look to be on the cards as Ketton have on the Hunts & Cambs title and are not expected to pursue promotion to the EAPL.

Bury beat Norwich at Postwick to leave Horsford adrift at the bottom, winning by 11 runs on Duckworth-Leiws in another rain-affected game.

Will O’Donnell top-scored with 81 as Norwich reached 191 for nine in their nine overs, with Daron Cruickshank taking five wickets for the visitors.

Aaron Watson then took two early wickets for the hosts but 60 for two proved enough for Bury as their target was adjusted due to the weather.

Vauxhall Mallards know they have finished seventh after a six-run win over Copdock on Duckworth-Lewis, Luke Caswell scoring an unbeaten 84.

There was frustration for Great Witchingham as their match at Cambridge Granta was abandoned due to heavy rain just after 6pm.

Sam Arthurton’s side have finished in third place in the EAPL table though, a big improvement on 10th last season, under the watch of Australian player-coach Mike Jones.

Arthurton put Granta into bat first and Andrew Hanby ripped into the hosts, taking four wickets to reduce them to 31 for four, trapping Alex Sears LBW, having Northamptonshire second XI player Ben Claydon caught behind by young wicketkeeper Charlie Nunn and clean bowling both Douglas Rice and skipper Jonny Atkinson.

Michael Pepper was removed for 71 when he was caught and bowled by Philip King, with Lewis Hill adding 81 before being dismissed by Will Rogers to end the innings with Granta on 214.

The Witches were then able to reach 37 for two before rain finished the game, with James Spelman on 20.

Witchingham conclude their season against Horsford at Walcis Park on Saturday.

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