Swardeston held to draw in EAPL’s match of the day - but still stretch lead at the top
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Swardeston were unable to seal victory in the East Anglian Premier League's match of the day at Frinton - but they had the better of a hard-fought draw to stretch their lead at the top of the table.
After a rain delayed start Swardeston recovered from 26-4 to make 225-7 in a reduced allocation of 50 overs, with skipper Joe Gatting scoring another brilliant ton.
They then had Frinton struggling on 97-7 before the hosts dug in, Norfolk skipper Ashley Watson leading the resistance as they got something out of the game.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first in tricky conditions Swardeston struggled badly before a stand of 117 between Gatting and Peter Lambert (51) got them back on track.
When Gatting eventually went for 115 from 132 balls it was left to Alfie Cooper (20 not out) and Peter Thomas (13 not out in just three balls with two sixes) to push Swardeston well above the 200 mark.
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Frinton started well in reply, passing 40 for the loss of only one wicket, but with Thomas (3-24) and Gatting (3-33) chipping away they were soon in deep trouble and Watson put up the shutters in the company of James Baker to ensure Frinton slipped just eight points further adrift. Watson faced 78 deliveries for 11 runs and Baker 42 for six.
The only other game to beat the weather was a real thriller, with Sudbury beating Horsford by one wicket at Friars Street.
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Horsford were bowled out for just 126, skipper Ryan Findlay top scoring with 36, but that proved to be a more than competitive score and the hosts were grateful for a hard-hitting unbeaten 38 in 31 balls from Ben Reece as they edged home. Young seamer Callum Metcalf was the pick of the Horsford bowlers, returning the impressive figures of 9-2-17-4.
The Norfolk Alliance programme was badly hit by the weather, with all the Premier Division games being wiped out and only nine fixtures going ahead elsewhere.
Once the rain had swept through a number of clubs managed to get a reduced overs match on, and Division One leaders Old Buckenham were glad they did as they beat visitors Beccles by eight wickets. In a game restricted to 20 overs a side they comfortably chased down 66 to make it six straight wins and move 32 points clear at the top.
Sprowston won a much tighter game against Topcroft over the same duration to consolidate third spot. Chasing 122-7 they sealed victory with three balls to spare as Sri Tenjaria (66 not out) hit the winning runs in a four wicket success.
A fine display of bowling from George Savoury, who took 5-20, was the highlight as Lowestoft beat Swaffham by 20 runs in a 30 over game after making 159-7.
Norfolk's Women produced a strong finish to seal third place in Division 3B of ECB League behind Northants and Holland.
The team, backed by Finance Shop Ltd, finished their one day campaign with three straight wins after losing their opening two fixtures.
Robyn Edge top scored with 74 in a good total of 198 against Holland at Old Buckenham but a strong Dutch side got home for the loss of just two wickets. The following day Norfolk were well beaten by Northants at Cromer as the visitors reached their target of 103 without loss.
Norfolk dominated their game against Suffolk to show how far they have come recently. Suffolk were bowled out for 151 with 10 overs remaining, with Amy Cubitt (3-23), Anoushka Williamson (4-24) and Jade Hoyte (2-20) being backed up by some superb fielding. Emily Woodhouse (23) and Edge (43) then put on 57 for the first wicket before Holly Marchant and Eleanor Pringle, playing with maturity beyond their years, saw their side home with an unbeaten partnership of 55.
In the next game at Exning Cambridgeshire were bowled out for just 63, Cubitt, Hoyte and Williamson the main wicket takers. Edge and Flo Wilkinson then saw the visitors home in the 19th over.
In the final fixture against Hertfordshire at Tring Norfolk posted 163-6 in their 50 overs, Edge contributing 66 and Hoyte 29. The hosts threatened to chase down the runs but, helped by a stunning catch from Amy Morris, Norfolk edged home by two runs.
Norfolk still have a chance of reaching the Minor Counties Twenty20 Finals Day after sharing the spoils with Hertfordshire in the latest double header at Manor Park on Sunday.
Ashley Watson's side were beaten by two wickets in a low scoring opener but bounced back to win the second game by seven wickets.
They remain fourth in the five team Group Three table, with only the winners making progress, but could still finish top by winning their final two games against leaders Hertfordshire at Harpenden next Sunday.
After being asked to bat first in the first game on bowler friendly surface Norfolk toiled to 77-7 in their 20 overs, with Tom New making 36.
Bedfordshire also lost wickets at regular intervals but got home off the peultimate ball.
Conditions were more favourable after the break, with Bedfordshire scoring 127-3 and Norfolk overhauling their target with four balls to spare, thanks largely to a 100 run stand for the second wicket between Sam Arthurton (60) and Jason Reynolds (40).
Swardeston recorded a thrilling win against Cambridge at Clare College on Sunday to book their place in the fourth round of the national Royal London Club Championship.
The visitors edged home by six runs in the 40 over a side competition as they successfully defended a total of 216-6.
That Swardeson got that high was down largely to an excellent partnership of 146 for the third wicket between Callum Taylor (97) and in-form skipper Joe Gatting (81).
Cambridge were 170-2 in reply at one stage, with a reasonable asking rate, but they then collapsed to 210 all out, with the last wicket coming off the final ball. Gatting (4-38) and Tom Oxley 4-36 were the bowling stars.