East Anglian Premier League review: Devon Conway stars again for Vauxhall Mallards
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Vauxhall Mallards' new recruit Devon Conway maintained his superb start to the season on Saturday – but another brilliant knock wasn't enough to secure victory.
Having marked his debut with 90 the previous week the young South African gave another demonstration of his talent by making an unbeaten 125 in an ultimately frustrating draw against Horsford at Halvergate.
With early rain giving Mallards just 44 overs to work with Conway came to the crease in the very first over after Matt Plater had been dismissed for a duck and quickly took centre stage, with a knock spanning just 121 balls including 10 fours and five sixes.
He ended up scoring well over half of Mallards' total of 205-6, with Joe Wilson providing patient support early on and Ali Shearer and Connor Green the only other batsmen to make double figures.
Mallards looked well set for victory when a rush of early wickets from Adam Todd left Horsford on 24-4 but Stephan Marillier's 66 in 59 balls then gave the visitors hope of getting something from the game. It wasn't going to be a win but Chris Brown led a determined rearguard action to force a draw, with tail-ender Elliott Doyle playing his part by surviving 35 balls before being dismissed for a duck.
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Champions Swardeston are setting the early pace alongside Saffron Walden following a second successive win.
Mark Thomas' team started the day well against new boys Frinton, with Jordan Taylor (59), Peter Lambert (34) and Stephen Gray (22) helping them to a strong position at 119-1. Then wickets started to tumble and it required a half century in 41 balls from the skipper to get the home side up to a competitive all out total of 214.
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When the pace of Sam Thelwell and Michael Eccles reduced the visitors to 59-6 it seemed as though an early finish was on the cards at The Common but then a man with a controversial past ensured it wasn't all plain sailing.
Former Essex player Mervyn Westfield, who served a prison sentence for a spot-fixing offence and is now playing club cricket at Frinton, went on the attack and fell just 13 short of a century, with 72 of his runs coming in boundaries. It was a brave effort – but Swardeston eventually won by the comfortable margin of 58 runs.
Norwich bounced back from an opening day defeat by recording a comfortable 71-run win at Bury St Edmunds.
The visitors made 236, with opener Sam Pointer suffering the heartbreak of being dismissed for 99, and then bowled out Bury for 165 as the Watson brothers got to work, with Ashley leading the way with figures of 5-24 and Aaron taking 3-39.
It was a day to forget for an under-strength Great Witchingham side as they were brushed aside by Cambridge Granta in an early finish at Walcis Park.
With skipper Tom Collishaw and injured paceman Kieran Bunting among those missing, the Witches were beaten by eight wickets after being dismissed for just 90. The writing was on the wall for the hosts when openers James Spelman and Sam Arthurton both went cheaply and in the end only Matthew Hale (30) made a decent score as the ever dangerous Raj Singh took 5-40.
Granta wasted no time wrapping up the win as they got past their modest target inside 16 overs