East Anglian Premier League: Swardeston beat Frinton – and the rain
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Swardeston managed to squeeze in a win before the forecast thunderstorms arrived to get their East Anglian Premier League title bid firmly back on track.
The defending champions went into the weekend in need of a boost after losing their two previous games – and they duly got one when they won the toss and were able to put visitors Frinton into bat.
That gave them the opportunity to secure a victory on a day when all the other fixtures ended up being abandoned. And it's to the immense credit of Mark Thomas and his team that they grabbed it with both hands to close the gap on leaders Cambridge Granta to just four points.
With the conditions heavily in favour of the bowlers Frinton quickly slipped to 20-4 at The Common before a stand of 40 between Mervyn Westfield (37) and Matthew Foakes (12) gave them a glimmer of hope.
But once Foakes was caught by Peter Lambert off the bowling of Joe Gatting it was all over bar the shouting and the Essex side were all out for 74 in the 30th over.
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Young seamer Tom Oxley was the star man for Swardeston, taking 3-4 in eight accurate overs, while Matthew Taylor chipped in with figures of 3-16.
It was then simply a case of the hosts getting the job done as quickly as possible and despite the early loss of Lambert they rattled along at over six an over to clinch a nine-wicket success.
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Jordan Taylor (34 not out) and Stephen Gray (25 not out) put together an unbroken partnership of 64 to settle the issue as the storm clouds gathered.
Granta had the best of the weather as they took on Copdock and Ipswichian at Clare College and batted their full 64 overs in testing conditions to make 181-6, thanks almost entirely to a 130-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Ben Claydon (63) and Michael Pepper (57 not out).
Sadly there was not time for Copdock to complete their reply, with the Suffolk side on 76-2 in the 29th over when the rain arrived.
The leaders have another home match to look forward to on Saturday – and what a cracker it should be, weather permitting, with Swardeston their visitors.
Like Granta, Horsford also managed to complete their innings at Woolpit, recovering from 52-5 to reach 153 in 52.4 overs. Robbie Bridgstock (41) and Matt Spenceley (22) ensured the visitors got up to a defendable total but in the end it mattered little as Woolpit were left stranded on 38-1.
There was only time for 19.2 overs at Halvergate as the derby match between Vauxhall Mallards and bottom side Great Witchingham was ruined by the weather.
Mallards were firmly in control when the rain came, with a 3-8 blast in 10 overs from Paul Bradshaw reducing their visitors to 24-4. Norfolk opener James Spelman survived 68 balls to score all but four of those runs.
The draw left the Witches still five points behind Horsford at the bottom of the table.
There was even less action at Sudbury, where the stumps were drawn early with Norwich on 26-1.