Norwich move off bottom of EAPL table after winning basement battle

A picture that sums up a frustrating afternoon at Walcis Park, where the weather had the final say.

A picture that sums up a frustrating afternoon at Walcis Park, where the weather had the final say. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Norwich came out on top in a crucial basement battle to move off the bottom of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

Ashley Watson's side built on an honourable draw at Horsford the previous weekend by seeing off fellow strugglers Bury St Emdunds by seven wickets on Saturday after bowling their hosts out for just 128.

An overdue first league win of the season lifted Norwich up to 10th in the table, with Vauxhall Mallards now also below them in the standings following their defeat at defending champions Sudbury.

On a day when only the fixture between Great Witchingham and Horsford fell foul of the weather, the visitors made full use of Watson's decision to bowl first after winning the toss.

Brothers Dominic and Jamie Mirner both claimed three wickets while Watson took 2-13 in 13.3 overs as the home side were bowled out in the 50th over, with only Sean Park (46) making much of an impression.

With rain much more of a problem in Norfolk than Suffolk, Watson's men knew they were in the driving seat and pressed home their advantage in impressive style, opener Jack Newby making an impressive 63 not out to help seal victory with plenty of time to spare.

Not for the first time this season Mallards let a promising position slip through their grasp to slide to a disappointing defeat.

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Having being asked to bat first Sudbury made a dreadful start, crashing to 21-5 as Ben France took three wickets and Paul Bradshaw two. A partial recovery helped the champions edge past three figures but Mallards remained in the driving seat as the hosts slipped to 104-9.

Another wicket then and who knows what the outcome might have been, but sadly for France's side Suffolk all-rounder James Poulson (55) found a willing ally in Jonathan Gallagher and together they put 58 to take Sudbury up to what proved a more than adequate total of 162.

It had still been a respectable bowling effort however, with France and Bradshaw doing almost all of the work - between them they sent down 34 of the 42.3 overs that were delivered, finishing with figures of 4-55 and 4-74 respectively. What Mallards then required was a similarly solid effort with the bat but sadly it never materialised. They were dismissed for just 99 in the 39th over with only a late 28 not out in 35 balls from Adam Todd taking Mallards close to three figures.

Only 3.5 overs were possible at Walcis Park, with Horsford were left stranded on 17-0.

Swardeston moved four points clear at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League at the weekend following a fifth straight win.

Joe Gatting's in-form side came through a potentially tricky game at Frinton with flying colours as they made a whopping 325-6 declared before bowling out the opposition for 153.

Jason Reynolds' fourth EAPL century proved the cornerstone of an impressive batting effort. The young opener put on 109 for the first wicket with Jordan Taylor (41) and then went on to get all the way up to 138 before being fourth man out. His 153-ball innings included 12 fours and six sixes.

Joe Gatting (53) and Peter Lambert (38 in 23 balls) also enjoyed themselves as Swardeston were able to declare four overs early to allow themselves more time to bowl out of the opposition.

As it turned out they needn't have bothered. With only Michael Comber (54) showing much resistance Frinton went down by 172 runs as Michael Eccles and Joe Flatt each claimed three wickets.

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