East Anglian Premier League: Swardeston maintain flying start
Horsford slumped to a seven-wicket defeat at The Common as champions Swardeston maintained their strong start to the season.
The visitors were put into bat and swiftly lost three wickets in the first six overs, including Australian Matt Love for a second ball duck, trapped lbw by Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas.
Stephan Marillier (27) and Nathan Perry-Warnes (33) steadied the ship, but Michael Eccles struck twice in the 15th over to put Horsford back in trouble at 43 for five.
Skipper Chris Brown (32) ensured his side passed three figures, before he became one of three late victims for his predecessor as Norfolk captain, George Walker.
Eccles also finished with three wickets as Horsford were bowled out for 130 in the 34th over.
Swardeston opener Peter Lambert set off at pace in pursuit of that target, hitting seven boundaries in his 38 before being the second man to fall, with the score on 50.
Jonathan Sole's first league failure for Swardeston gave Horsford a glimmer of hope, but it was snuffed out by an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 72 between Stephen Gray (29no) and Callum Taylor (42no). The home side completed victory in the 26th over, although their lead was cut to six points by Cambridge Granta, who picked up maximum points at Bury.
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Great Witchingham recorded their fifth successive draw in a tense finish at Woolpit.
Chasing 223 for victory, the Witches had a chance at 208 for seven, but the loss of two quick wickets meant Jonathan Spelman (21no) had to concentrate on securing the draw.
Woolpit had earlier chosen to bat, but found Witchingham's youthful seam attack of Kieran Bunting and Will Dunger a tough proposition as both claimed two wickets to leave the hosts on 31 for four.
Woolpit's middle and lower order responded well, guiding them to a total of 222 all out, with Dunger taking three for 38 and Stephan Joubert picking up three for 51.
James Spelman followed his century in the previous match with 71, but after an opening stand of 69 with James Hale (18), the top order failed to fire.
Dunger's 33 put them back on track, but Shaun Arthurton was the eighth man out with eight balls remaining and 15 still needed.
Bunting was run out with three balls left and the visitors finished on 213 for nine.
Rahul Dewan fired 98 for Vauxhall Mallards at Brundall, but it was not enough as visitors Clacton won by four wickets.
Dewan shared in stands of 73 with Steve Goldsmith (34) and 90 with Paul Bradshaw (40) before falling just two runs short of his second EAPL century of the season. His innings spanned 135 balls and featured 11 fours and a six and helped Mallards post 241 all out.
Clacton progressed smoothly to 174 for three before Goldsmith bagged two quick wickets. But the visitors' skipper, Norfolk all-rounder Ben France, guided them to victory in the 54th over with an unbeaten 50.
Elsewhere, Glen Batticciotto struck a double century in Saffron Walden's 129-run win at Burwell and Sudbury drew at Copdock & Old Ipswichian.
• In yesterday's ECB National Club Championship games, Swardeston beat Vauxhall Mallards by 111 runs and will now play Cambridge Granta, who won by nine wickets at Great Witchingham.
See Friday's EDP for full details.