Norwich under real pressure after losing EAPL basement battle

Thomas Nudd bowls for Horsford in the EAPL match against Great Witchingham, with umpire Russell Bird

Thomas Nudd bowls for Horsford in the EAPL match against Great Witchingham, with umpire Russell Bird keeping a close eye on proceedings Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

It was a day to forget for Norwich as they suffered a painful home defeat to slide deep into the relegation mire in the East Anglian Premier League.

Ashley Watson's men were skittled out for just 98 by bottom side Bury St Edmunds at Postwick, with the visitors then coasting home for the loss of only two wickets to pile the pressure on their struggling hosts.

Having wasted an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the one relegation spot Norwich are now just seven points ahead of a side who looked dead and buried a few weeks back but have now won three games on the trot to prompt hopes of a great escape.

Bury's fine form has coincided with an alarming dip from the side they are trying to chase down, with four straight defeats leaving them looking anxiously over their shoulders.

Worryingly for Watson and his team they have now lost all six of their 50 over matches this season, while Bury have won four of theirs – so something will have to change quickly if Norwich are to avoid finishing bottom.

On an overcast morning they toiled for over 38 overs before being dismissed two short of three figures, with extras the top scorer on 25. Opener Alex Mhandu showed commendable fight, facing 87 balls for his 21 and adding 42 for the fifth wicket with Matthew Collinge, but it was then painful viewing for the home spectators as the final six wickets fell for the addition of just 11 runs.

Watson took 2-22 when Bury replied but with Murray Commins making 53 not out it was a cruise for the visitors.

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Next Saturday's showdown between leaders Sudbury and closest challenges Swardeston at Friars Street was set up perfectly as both teams won again.

Swardeston lost brothers Callum and Jordan Taylor cheaply but hit back well to make 250-8 against Frinton at The Common. Lewis Denmark (71) and Freddie Ruffell (50) were the key men as the hosts recovered from 71-4 to set a decent target. The Essex side reached 69 without loss in reply but were always behind the asking rate and were restricted to 226-9, with young spinner Joe Flatt maintaining an impressive debut season in the EAPL by taking 4-33.

Sudbury remain 40 points clear following a 120 run win over Vauxhall Mallards at Halvergate. Martyn Cull scored an unbeaten 79 as the visitors made 244-6 in their 50 overs, a total that proved way beyond the home side, despite the best efforts of Matthew Plater. He scored exactly half of his team's disappointing total of 124, with the next highest score being just 15.

Will Rogers was in the runs again as Horsford claimed the derby spoils against Great Witchingham at Manor Park.

The young Norfolk batsman followed up the previous week's unbeaten 135 with an excellent 79 against his former club to help set up a 72-run win.

Rogers featured in a partnership of 127 for the third wicket with Stephan Marillier (53) which put Horsford in a position of strength before a late collapse saw them dismissed for 216, with Mike Jones and Tom Collishaw both claiming three wickets.

In reply, Witches opener James Spelman went early, caught and bowled by Tom Nudd for six. Sam Arthurton and Sam Groves put on 57 for the second wicket before Groves became the first of Chris Brown's five victims when he was caught by Marillier for 21. When the score had moved on to 85 Arthurton was trapped leg before by Brown for 45 and wickets then fell on a regular basis, with the visitors being bowled out for 144. Brown had the fine figures of 5-22 from nine overs while Nudd chipped in with 3-20.

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