East Anglian Premier League: Shock results in Norfolk derby clashes

Australian bowler Brenton McDonald took three wickets for Great Witchingham against Saffron Walden.

Australian bowler Brenton McDonald took three wickets for Great Witchingham against Saffron Walden. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

The form book was thrown out of the window in the East Anglian Premier League on Saturday – with a surprise result in two derby clashes.

Runaway leaders Swardeston fell to just their second defeat of the season when they travelled to Ingham to take on Norwich.

Meanwhile bottom-of-the-table Vauxhall Mallards gave their season a welcome boost with a 51-run victory at Horsford.

Norwich won the toss and put Swardeston into bat in their match, a decision which looked to be going in favour of the reigning EAPL champions until Jordan Taylor (38) and Stephen Gray (23) fell in quick succession to leave their team at 90-3.

Young Essex and Norfolk batsman Callum Taylor continued his excellent form with a knock of 79 to help Swardeston to 225-7 by the time Ashley Watson had him caught by Dominic Matarazzo.

That was one of four wickets for Watson, with his brother Aaron also claiming three to see Swardeston finish on 267-9 in 64 overs.

Norwich got off to a shaky start to their chase and were wobbling at 50-3 when Michael Eccles took the second of his three wickets, bowling Ashley Watson.

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But Matarazzo (51) and skipper Chris Borrett (71) then set Norwich on their way to victory with a 91-run stand for the fourth wicket.

It was then left to Oliver Sutton (44) and his father, former Norwich City footballer Chris (25) to see their team across the line with an unbeaten 49-run partnership doing the business.

That result has seen Swardeston's lead cut to 54 points at the top of the table, to potentially open up the chance for the chasing pack to prevent them winning their third successive EAPL title.

Great Witchingham are the closest contenders, after a nine-wicket home win against Saffron Walden, as they also have a game in hand on the leaders.

The Witches won the toss at Walcis Park and put the visitors into bat, who were going along nicely at 90-3 but were eventually all out for 202.

Skipper Carl Rogers claimed three wickets, as did Australian leg-spinner Brenton McDonald.

But opening batsman James Spelman stole the spotlight to make short work of the chase for Witchingham, smashing an unbeaten 137 from 143 balls, featuring 24 boundaries.

Sam Groves (22) and James Hale (38 not out) supported Spelman in his charge, to see the Witches reach 206 for the loss of just one wicket in 46 overs.

But Vauxhall Mallards will also be proudly claiming their share of the spotlight following the latest EAPL action, after bowling Horsford out for 150 at Manor Park.

George Brown top scored with 37 for the Ducks as they were put into bat and bowled out for 210. But a great bowling display saw the home side collapse from 82-1 to 150 all out, with four wickets for Brett Stolworthy and three for Adam Todd.

Mallards are now only seven points adrift of Bury St Edmunds at the foot of the table.