Bradshaw and Brown show they’ve still got what it takes

Michael Eccles in full flight for Swardeston during their match against Vauxhall Mallards at The Com

Michael Eccles in full flight for Swardeston during their match against Vauxhall Mallards at The Common on Saturday. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Two EAPL stalwarts took centre stage at the weekend to help their sides to emphatic victories, with Vauxhall Mallards' 148-run win at Swardeston the result to really catch the eye.

Former Norfolk skipper Paul Bradshaw did the damage at The Common with figures of 7-41 in nine overs as Mallards condemned Joe Gatting's side to a third successive league defeat.

Swardeston dropped all the way down to sixth place in the table as a result and are now only four points above Horsford, who maintained their impressive form with an equally convincing 144-run win over Copdock that saw the current county three-day skipper Chris Brown come away with a 6-27 return.

Sudbury are now 20 points clear at the top after seeing off Cambridge Granta by six wickets, but it's getting increasingly tight below them, with just 19 points separating the next five teams as the halfway stage of the season approaches.

Bradshaw wasn't the only Mallards hero at the weekend, with a superb third-wicket stand of 157 between Oli Stone and Nick Smit setting up the victory chance after they had been reduced to 22-3.

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Smit went on to score 88 while Stone, playing as a batsman after being given permission to represent his club by Warwickshire, was unfortunate to fall one short of a century after hitting 16 fours and two sixes.

Once they had departed there was another flurry of wickets before Bradshaw (34) and Adam Todd (31 not out) put on 65 for the eighth wicket to help their side set a daunting target of 290-9 declared.

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With Bradshaw in full flow Swardeston struggled to 26-4 in reply and although things improved after that, the big partnership the hosts needed never materialised, even though the runs were coming at around five an over.

Jeremy Elliott scored 30, Matthew Taylor an unbeaten 26 and tailender Michael Eccles a brisk 33 – but it was all in vain as their side were dismissed for 142 in just the 29th over.

Over at Manor Park, Horsford batted consistently well, with their top eight all getting into double figures, to reach the heady heights of 324. Chris Read led the way with 86 while Norfolk new-boy Callum Melcalf warmed up for his county debut with 65. Glenton Stuurman (81) and Jack Beaumont (51) both provided some resistance but there was no way back for Copdock once Brown got down to work. The Suffolk side were dismissed for 180, with Thomas Nudd weighing in with 3-46.

Great Witchingham are now the leading Norfolk side the EAPL after recording an excellent 95 run victory at Mildenhall.

James Spelman and Sam Arthurton put on 119 for the first wicket after the Witches had been asked to bat first.

Both went in the 50s and the visitors then moved steadily on to 190-6 before Brett Stolworthy (36) and Andy Hanby (22 not out) had a 50 run partnership for the seven wicket to help set 242-7 from 64 overs.

In reply, Mildenhall started well, putting on 56 for the first wicket before Stolworthy had Matt Allen superbly caught behind by Sam Groves for 26. From then on the Witchingham attack gradually got on top and Mike Jones took 4-23 and Hanby 3-39 as the morning leaders were bowled out for 147.

Norwich fell frustratingly shot of victory at Ingham, with visitors Frinton hanging on at 199-9 in reply to a home total of 247. Jack Newby starred for Norwich with an innings of 109 that included 18 fours. Meryvn Westfield took the bowling honours for Frinton with 7-37 while Watson later took 4-57

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