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Swardeston held by Horsford in derby as gap widens between top two in EAPL

James Hale, who top-scored with 78 for Great Witchingham against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

James Hale, who top-scored with 78 for Great Witchingham against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

Archant

Swardeston lost more ground in the battle for supremacy in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League.

Great Witchingham opener Jack Boyle on his way to 61 in the game against Burwell Picture: Tim FerleyGreat Witchingham opener Jack Boyle on his way to 61 in the game against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

A week after losing only their second game of the season to cede ascendancy to Frinton-on-Sea, Swardeston were held to a draw in a Norfolk derby against visiting Horsford.

While that was happening, Frinton were enjoying a six-wicket win at Cambridge, which extended the gap between first and second from nine points to 22.

Horsford were put in to bat at The Common and scored 295-9, opener Matt Plater hitting 61 and Ryan Findlay an unbeaten 75. They both fell to the bowling of Joe Gatting, who finished with 4-75 for the hosts before scoring an unbeaten 52 in reply. Findlay got some measure of revenge when Gatting was caught off his bowling as he finished with 3-78. Peter Lambert hit 58 as Swardeston reached 254-7 in 56 overs.

Great Witchingham drew at home to Burwell & Exning.

Great Witchingham's Brett Stolworthy, who scored 56 against Burwell Picture: Tim FerleyGreat Witchingham's Brett Stolworthy, who scored 56 against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

The visitors won the toss and chose to bat, with opener Tom Jagot leading the way with 114, before he was caught by Sam Groves off the bowling of William Means as Burwell racked up 293-8. Best Witches bowler was Andy Hanby with 3-50, with two wickets apiece for Means and Brett Stolworthy.

In reply, James Hale top-scored with 78, with other good knocks by opener Jack Boyle (61), Stolworthy (56) and Peter Trewick, 48 not out, as the hosts reached 278-7.

Vauxhall Mallards remain rooted to the bottom of the table after they were beaten by two wickets by Copdock & Old Ipswichian.

Mallards were put in to bat and lost both openers cheaply, before Johnathan Dalton steadied the ship with 109.

Peter Trewick in action for Great Witchingham against Burwell Picture: Tim FerleyPeter Trewick in action for Great Witchingham against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

Paul Bradshaw chipped in with 51 and Thomas Miller 23 as Mallards were bowled out for 227 in 63.1 overs.

Bradshaw struck quickly with the ball, removing opener Alex Oxley (0), but the Suffolk side reached their target for the loss of eight wickets after 52 overs. Bradshaw finished with 2-21 and Michael Eccles with 3-74.

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Great Witchingham's William Mears in action against Burwell Picture: Tim FerleyGreat Witchingham's William Mears in action against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

North Runcton took over at the top of the Premier Division as morning leaders Fakenham slipped to fourth after defeat against Stow. Runcton thumped struggling Diss by nine wickets to move four points clear of Downham while Brooke are up to third.

Diss were bowled out for 131 at North Runcton, where Benjamin Coote did the damage with 4-21. In reply, the hosts needed 25.2 overs to reach their target for the lost of just one wicket, Jack Major leading the way with 86 not out.

Downham beat visiting bottom side Dereham by eight wickets. Brooke won at Garboldisham by just five runs. Opener Carl Amos teed it up with 59, but Alistair Shearer's 81 was the highlight of the total of 225 all out. Garboldisham enjoyed a solid start, reaching 121 before James Spelman was dismissed for 47. Matt Allin (42) and Danny Cash (40) made valuable contributions, but most of the rest struggled as Garboldisham finished on 220-7.

In Division One, three of the morning's top four were beaten.

Great Witchingham's Brett Stolworthy takes the wicket of Burwell's Manish Burman Picture: Tim FerleyGreat Witchingham's Brett Stolworthy takes the wicket of Burwell's Manish Burman Picture: Tim Ferley

Leaders Old Buckenham were eight-wicket winners at Acle, but there were defeats for Sprowston at Horsford II, Swardeston II at Swaffham and Thetford at home to Lowestoft, which took the Suffolk side up to second. Cristian Stent scored a superb 157 not out, with William Brice hitting 80 and Craig Guy taking 4-36.

Chris Read scored an unbeaten 91 for Horsford II, while Jasper Payne scored 64 for Swaffham.

At the bottom, David Todd took 4-17 and Tommo Yarham hit 51 as Topcroft beat bottom side Beccles by 22 runs.

Leaders Hethersett & Tas Valley won the battle of the top two in Division Two, beating Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers by 17 runs. James Shipley hit 63 for Hethersett. Third-placed Bradfield were eight-wicket winners over Norwich II while footballers Jay Eastoe-Smith hit an unbeaten 80 and Ryan Hawkins (35*) to see Mattishall home in their 83-run win over Garboldisham II.

Andy Hanby, who took three wickets for Great Witchingham against Burwell Picture: Tim FerleyAndy Hanby, who took three wickets for Great Witchingham against Burwell Picture: Tim Ferley

Division Three leaders Great Melton lost for the first time this season, beaten by five wickets at home to second-placed Bradenham, who were indebted to an unbeaten 102 from Will Dewing and Rob Ellis's 69.

Lewis Gooderham scored a massive unbeaten 214 as Swardeston-Ceyms won by 50 runs at Bungay. Nathan King scored 87 and Liam Crompton took 4-16 as third-placed Bircham won by 65 runs at Hockwold, who slipped from 134-2 to 149 all out in nine overs.

Cromer II won their derby against leaders Sheringham by nine runs. James Platt scored 82 for Sheringham.

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