EAPL round-up: Swardeston win local derby as over 600 runs are scored at The Common
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The runs flowed at The Common on Saturday, with Swardeston coming out on top in an enthralling encounter to give their hopes of retaining the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League title a timely boost.
It was entertainment all the way as the hosts scored at over six an over to make 328-4 before title rivals Great Witchingham replied with a more than respectable 300-9.
Having seen both their previous games ruined by the weather, it was a first win in three for Swardeston and one which kept the pressure on leaders Sudbury, who also marked the return of limited overs cricket with a 25-point haul thanks to a comfortable win over struggling Bury St Edmunds.
With five rounds of matches to be played the title race remains wide open, with just 18 points separating the top three and Sudbury and Swardeston going head to head at Friars Street on the final day.
After being asked to bat first Swardeston got off to a good start, with Jason Reynolds and Peter Lambert putting on 84 for the first wicket. After Lambert was bowled by Phil King for 39, Jordan Taylor joined Jason Reynolds at the crease and they put together a stand of 171 for the second wicket. The partnership was dominated by some fine stroke play from Taylor, who contributed 106 to the stand.
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Reynolds eventually fell to a catch in the deep by Andy Hanby off the bowling of James Hale for 92. His 120 ball innings contained 11 fours and two sixes. Taylor's excellent knock came to an end when he was caught by Sam Arthurton off Mike Jones for 126 from just 99 deliveries, with 12 fours and three sixes.
With Joe Gatting and Luke Denmark taking the score beyond 300 Witchingham had a challenging total to chase but they certainly gave it their best shot. James Spelman made 69 and Luke Schlemmer a thrilling 61 off 48 when the rate required was approaching 10 an over, with 27 being taken off one Freddie Ruffell over.
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But in the end it proved just took much for them as Swardeston claimed the win by 28 runs.
There was another derby match at Halvergate and this was a very different affair, with Vauxhall Mallards and Norwich both finding runs hard to come by.
The visitors bowled Mallards out for just 107 - with the ever reliable Will O'Donnell returning the outstanding figures of 10-1-22-5 - and looked set for a comfortable win after reaching 70-4 in reply, with plenty of overs left.
But Norwich then lost their final six wickets for five runs, with Ben France (4-12), Paul Bradshaw (2-8) and Mitchell Todd (3-36) doing the damage.
A difficult week for Horsford had an unhappy conclusion as they slipped to a comprehensive home defeat at the hands of Frinton.
Having had 30 points deducted on Thursday following the early abandonment of their home fixture with Copdock because of a dangerous Manor Park pitch, Horsford went into the match in desperate need of a boost - not least because the punishment had left them uncomfortably close to the relegation position.
But they didn't get it, with the visitors cruising to victory with seven wickets and almost 16 overs in reserve after bowling their hosts out for just 152.
After being asked to bat first at Manor Park it was a long, hard struggle for Ryan Findlay's side, who were grateful for battling knocks from Robbie Bridgstock (31), Chris Brown (25) and Stephan Marillier (25) as they at least gave their bowlers something to defend.
A win was always going to be a long shot from that position however and a half century from Michael Griggs set the Essex side on the road to a comfortable win.
The only good news for Horsford was the heavy defeat for bottom side Bury St Edmunds which meant they hadn't slipped any further into trouble.