Boyle shines as Great Witchingham get their EAPL campaign up and running

Peter Minns prepares to deliver for Horsford Picture: TIM FERLEY

Peter Minns prepares to deliver for Horsford Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Great Witchingham got their East Anglian Premier League campaign up and running at new boys Saffron Walden in conditions that ranged from sleet to bright sunshine - and virtually everything in between.

Jason Reynolds (left) shares a joke his his skipper Ryan Findlay at Manor Park Picture: TIM FERLEY

Jason Reynolds (left) shares a joke his his skipper Ryan Findlay at Manor Park Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Despite a number of interruptions there was still plenty of time to get a game in and the Witches won it in impressive style, with New Zealander Peter Boyle seeing them home to an eight wicket success.

Saffron Walden's innings came to a premature close in the 33rd over as weather closed in and they were left stranded on 138-3, with opener Jake Foley making 53.

When play eventually resumed Witchingham were left with a challenging target of 207 from 32 overs but they set about the task in positive fashion, with skipper Sam Arthurton and Boyle bringing up the 100 at the end of 16th over.

Arthurton was the first to go with the score on 116 when he was caught on the boundary for 64.

Callum Metcalf in full flight for Horsford during Saturday's match against Cambridge Picture: TIM FE

Callum Metcalf in full flight for Horsford during Saturday's match against Cambridge Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

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Boyle was now starting show his class however, playing shots all round the wicket, while new partner Peter Trewick helped maintain the momentum.

The latter went for 26 in 27 balls but Boyle was in control and he had steered the total to 183-2 off 28.1 overs when heavy rain finished play, with Witchingham comfortable Duckworth Lewis winners. The Kiwi finished unbeaten on 78, including six fours and two sixes.

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Mark Thomas rolled back the years with a superb spell as Swardeston recorded a second successive victory in emphatic fashion.

The veteran seamer returned the remarkable figures of 4.5-0-16-6 to help dismiss visitors Mildenhall for just 85 in 21.5 overs after two early wickets from Freddie Ruffell had softened them up.

The tempermental weather meant Swardeston had to chase a revised target of 73 in 37 overs and it proved a straightfoward task, with brothers Callum (42 not out) and Jordan (26) Taylor taking them to within the brink of victory before it was sealed by nine wickets in the 13th over.

The win moved Joe Gatting's side up to fourth in the table, just a point off second spot and 19 adrift of Frinton, the only team who have won all three games.

Horsford came out second best in a truncated, low scoring affair at Manor Park.

The hosts did well to restrict Cambridge to 92-7 in the 28 overs that were possible, with Norfolk pair Callum Metcalf and Ryan Findlay both taking a couple of wickets. Once the sums had been done the Horsford target was a modest 114 in 28 but with wickets falling at regular intervals it soon looked like a tall order and Findlay's side were dismissed for just 82, with No 8 Will Woodhead the top scorer with just 13.

The one match that never really got going was at champions Sudbury, where less than eight overs were possible and visitors Vauxhall Mallards were left high and not particularly dry on 32-0.

Norfolk Alliance

Norwich were unable to mark their return to the Norfolk Alliance with a win as the cold, wind and occasional rain made it a miserable opening day.

In their first competitive match since losing a play-off to stay in the EAPL, Norwich batted well to make an impressive 274-6 in the 45 overs that Brooke managed to get in. Openers Martin Grellier (104) and Oli Higenbottam (61) scored 24 boundaries between them to set a tough target but it was all in vain as a halt was called with the hosts having reached 44 without loss in just 25 balls.

That was the only top flight match which didn't reach a conclusion, with four away teams returning home victorious.

Defending champions Fakenham beat Diss by 35 runs in a 40 over game after making 181-7 while 2018 runners-up Downham Town cruised to a big win at Cromer.

Skippers present and past Patrick Yates (51) and Duncan Lanchester (46 not out) were the top scorers in a total of 254-6, with David Turner's 57 not enough to get Cromer (143 all out) anywhere near it.

Dereham's first match in the top flight for nearly three decades ended in defeat, but only after a brave battle. After being bowled out for 121 Duncan Hewitt's side bowled well to take seven wickets before vistors North Runcton edged home.

Stow were comfortable six wicket winners at Garboldisham after bowling out their hosts for 160.

Recently relegated Old Buckenham could be the team to watch in Division One. They hammered Horsford A by 133 runs in their opener after making 221.

There was a thrilling match at Sprowston where Swardeston A won by two runs after being restricted to 152-9. Sri Tenjaria and Danny Palmer put Sprowston in a strong position with an opening stand of 67 but the visiting bowlers then took command.

Newly promoted Swaffham won by four wickets at Topcroft, with Alex Payne's 75 helping them to overhaul a total of 215-9 after brother Jasper had taken 3-23.

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