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Gray unbeaten again as Swardeston get EAPL campaign up and running

PUBLISHED: 07:01 29 April 2019

A gloomy scene at Walcis Park on Saturday - but the match between Great Witchingham and Sudbury did eventually go ahead Picture: TIM FERLEY

A gloomy scene at Walcis Park on Saturday - but the match between Great Witchingham and Sudbury did eventually go ahead Picture: TIM FERLEY

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Stephen Gray maintained his impressive start to the season as Swardeston got their East Anglian Premier League campaign up and running after a disappointing start.

Stephen Gray has scored 167 runs in two matches for Swardeston without being dismissed Picture: TIM FERLEYStephen Gray has scored 167 runs in two matches for Swardeston without being dismissed Picture: TIM FERLEY

The wicket-keeper/batsman came up with his second unbeaten score in the 80s to help Joe Gatting's side to an eight wicket victory at Bury St Edmunds on a day when all six fixtures reached a conclusion despite the inclement weather.

Looking for a response to a home defeat against Copdock on the opening day Swardeston comfortably chased down a revised Duckworth Lewis target after their hosts had posted a total of 241-7 in their 50 overs.

In cold, windy and occasionally damp conditions that were a stark contrast to the previous weekend's unbroken sunshine, Bury were indebted to 50s from Alfie Marston and Ben Curran and an unbroken stand of 57 between Max Whittaker and Alastair Allchin as they set a more than respectable target.

Jordan and Callum Taylor laid the foundations for a successful run chase with an opening stand of 62 and when the brothers went in quick succession Gray and Gatting guided their side over the line, with the only scare coming when rain brought a brief halt to proceedings with five runs required from 19 deliveries. Gray followed up his 85 not out against Copdock with an unbeaten 82 this time around while his skipper finished on 77 not out in a superb partnership of 174.

Horsford also recorded their first victory of the season, and in emphatic fashion too, as they won by 112 runs at Mildenhall in a match that went the full distance.

Ryan Findlay's side made 265-4 in their 50 overs, with Will Rogers desperately unlucky to be left stranded on 99 not out.

Jason Reynolds was the other main contributor, his 65 being a second successive half century since his switch from Swardeston, while Stephan Marillier chipped in with 39 in 21 balls late on.

Mildenhall were dismissed for 153 in the 40th over, with Chris Read (3-36), Tom Nudd (2-10) Findlay (2-20) and Peter Minns (2-55) taking the bowling honours.

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Great Witchingham gave defending champions Sudbury a good run for their money at Walcis Park before losing a 31 over a side game by 15 runs.

In a fixture that didn't get under way until mid afternoon the visitors batted first and struggled early on in the face of some good bowling.

When Brett Stolworthy bowled Kenny Moulton-Day Sudbury were struggling on 54-5 but this was the cue for a match defining partnership between Ryan Vickery and Ben Reece. They put on 69 for the sixth wicket, with Vickery hitting six fours and two sixes in his 54.

Reece finished unbeaten on 46 after a valuable unbroken partnership of 31 for the ninth wicket with Patrick Sadler. The Sudbury innings closed on 155-8, with Will Means, Andy Hanby and Stolworthy all taking two wickets.

The Witchingham response did not start well, with skipper Sam Arthurton, Jack Boyle and Alex Shanks all back in the pavilion with just 12 runs on the board.

James Hale and Matt Long took the score to 31 before Hale was adjudged lbw and when Stolworthy, Long (23) and Pete Trewick went in quick succession it appeared a lost cause at 59-7. There followed a spirited partnership of 43 between Hanby and youngster Charlie Rogers but it wasn't enough and the Witches were dismissed for 140, Rogers being the last man out for 58.

The game hit hardest by the weather was the clash between Vauxhall Mallards and Frinton at Halvergate which was reduced to 27 overs a side.

After being asked to bat first Mallards lost wickets at regular intervals as they struggled to 89-9. Opener Troy Allan showed plenty of grit to make 37 in 61 balls but Tom Miller's 19 was the only other double figure score in a backs-to-the-wall effort.

Norfolk skipper Ashley Watson took 3-25 for the visitors and wasn't required with the bat as opener Tom Sinclair (42 not out) led his side to a comfortable six wicket win.

Archie Bradnock, just 15, took two wickets for a young Mallards side.

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