Bradshaw’s 8 for 17 haul a career best

Former Norfolk captain Paul Bradshaw claimed career best figures as Vauxhall Mallards made quick work of Copdock and Old Ipswichian in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

On a day when Swardeston were knocked off the top of the table Bradshaw guided his side to third position, albeit 61 points behind their near-neighbours, with a magnificent display of seam bowling that left the visitors' innings in tatters.

Bradshaw was only required to bowl 10.3 overs but still had time to pick up eight wickets for just 17 runs as the visitors were bowled out for 68.

The hosts then knocked off the required runs for the loss of five wickets, with Mallards' bowling hero completing a day to remember by hitting a brisk unbeaten 17 to see his side home.

Mallards won the toss and not surprisingly put Copdock into bat on an overcast day. It wasn't long before Bradshaw was weaving his magic in the company of Brett Stolworthy, who provided useful back-up with a spell of two for 41 in eight overs. The visitors slumped to 33 for eight and it was only a quick-fire 20 not out from tailender Peter George that enabled them to double that tally.

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In reply Mallards also lost wickets at regular intervals before Bradshaw saw them home in the company of Ali Shearer.

At the top of the table Swardeston were overtaken by Cambridge Granta after following up their first defeat of the season the previous week with a draw at lowly Woolpit.

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In a weather-affected game Swardeston won the toss and decided to bat first and look for quick runs. Openers Peter Lambert (72) and Jordan Taylor (47) set the tone for their innings with an opening partnership of 102 and later Jonathan Sole (75 not out) and Jeremy Elliott (42 not out) kept up the good work with an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 109 that took the visitors up to 258 for 4 declared in just 39 overs.

Sadly for Swardeston their bowlers were then unable to complete the job in the face of some determined batting from Woolpit who ended the day on 193 for four, with three of their batsmen reaching half centuries.

Swardeston picked up 15 points for their efforts and that was not enough to keep closest challengers Cambridge Granta at bay as, despite the best efforts of James Spelman, they recorded an emphatic victory at Great Wtichingham.

The Norfolk batsman held the home innings together with an excellent 82 off 117 balls, including 14 fours, but the next highest score was just 18 as Witchingham were bowled out for 159 in the 51st over, with Max Holden taking six for 29.

Granta overhauled their modest target for the loss of five wickets in the 44th over, with opener Philip Hughes still there at the end on 53. Stephan Joubert (3 for 62) was the hosts' most successful bowler.

Meanwhile Ryan Findlay was Horsford's top performer as they suffered a disappointing six wicket defeat at Clacton. Coming in at number six he scored 67 in 84 balls to guide the visitors to a reasonable total of 172 all out after they had been 86 for six at one stage. Norfolk captain Chris Brown and Darren Smith helped him along the way, but despite some tight bowling from Horsford it was still not enough as the Essex side got home in the 57th over. Brown conceded only 31 in his 18 overs, while taking two wickets.

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