Swardeston beat Great Witchingham by one run in EAPL as mix-up settles derby
- Credit: Archant
There was drama from start to finish as Swardeston saw off Great Witchingham by one run in a thrilling East Anglian Premier League encounter at The Common.
A low scoring derby ebbed one way and then the other before a mix-up between the Witches' final pair provided a dramatic denouement.
After being asked to bat first on an overcast morning Swardeston quickly lost both Taylor brothers Callum and Jordan without scoring. Stephen Gray and skipper Joe Gatting then went in quick succession to leave the hosts in deep trouble at 28-4, the wickets having been shared between Andy Hanby and Will Means.
Lewis Denmark was next to go, caught at slip for the first of Brett Stolworthy's three victims with the score on 62. Peter Trewick then got in on the act, trapping Lambert leg before and bowling Jeremy Elliott. After Stolworthy had removed Mark Thomas, Freddie Ruffell led the way with an unbeaten 19 - his side's top score - to take the total to 115.
In reply openers Sam Arthurton and Jack Boyle put on 23 before the visiting skipper was dismissed leg before by Gatting. Sam Groves was then run out and Boyle caught and with James Hale, Matt Long, Trewick and Charlie Rogers also going cheaply the Witches were staring down the barrel at 50-7.
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However Stolworthy and Hanby refused to panic and took their side to within sight of the finishing line before Stolworthy was caught behind by Gray off Elliott for 33. With the score now on 103 Witchingham needed just 13 for victory and when Joe Stairs became the ninth wicket to fall eight were still required. It looked as though Hanby, with a determined 21 of 77 balls, would see his team home until there was an almighty mix-up two runs short of the target that led to partner Means being run out by Denmark when both players ended up at the same end. Gatting and Thomas both took three wickets for the victors.
A fourth straight league win kept Swardeston a point behind leaders Frinton, who maintained their own bright start to the campaign by condemning defending champions Sudbury to their second defeat.
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The other Norfolk derby of the weekend saw Horsford comfortably see off Vauxhall Mallards at Manor Park after becoming the third side on the trot to dismiss them for less than three figures.
Troy Allan and James Vann put on 37 for the first wicket after Mallards had been inserted but they went in quick succession and it wasn't long before the visitors had collapsed to 58-7.
Paul Bradshaw and Adam Todd knucked down to add a further 26 runs in a watchful eighth wicket partnership, but Mallards could only get up to 95, having battled away for nearly 45 overs. The evergreen Chris Brown took 3-16 in nine overs while youngster Callum Metcalf took 2-9 in eight and Thomas Nudd 2-21 in 7.5.
In reply Horsford were briefly under pressure on 18-2 but William Woodhead (25 not out) and Jason Reynolds (41 not out) took them past their Duckworth Lewis target of 87 with no further alarms.
Defending Premier Division champions Fakenham came through a tough test to make it three straight wins at the start of the season.
John Ewart's 52 helped his side up to an impressive 263-9 but hosts Cromer made a good fist of the reply, with Matthew Warnes making 88 in a total of 247-8.
Downham Town suffered a first defeat of the campaign - and in emphatic fashion too - as a superb bowling display from Tom Alexander condemned them to a 63 run reverse at Garboldisham. The visitors were only chasing 141 but got nowhere near it as Alexander took 7-23.
Stow moved up to third after George Cook's 92 and Otto Esse's 73 and 5-40 helped them to an 82-run win over Norwich, for whom Martin Grellier scored 53, while an unbroken partnership of 127 for the sixth wicket between Ben Coote (74) and Ben Skipper (44) saw North Runcton home after Brooke had made 219-8 (Cebo Tshiki 46, John Habershon 43).
A captain's innings of 75 from Duncan Hewitt guided Dereham to a four wicket win over Diss, their first since their return to the top flight.
There were two centuries as Old Buckenham saw off Sprowston in a high scoring game in Division One. Rob Thurley scored 109 as the Bucks made 278-9 before Sam Hales finished unbeaten 105 as the visitors were dismissed in the final over for 253.
In Division Two Jack Whatmough made an unbeaten 167 as Martham chased down 275 at Mattishall. In the same section Tom Collishaw carried his bat for 112 in Hethersett and Tas Valley's win at Norwich A.