Gibbs Denley EAPL: George Walker back on song for Swardeston

Norfolk skipper George Walker made a timely return to form as Swardeston moved a step closer to regaining the EAPL title with victory at Halstead.

Left-arm spinner Walker has struggled to find his best form this summer, but bagged his first five-wicket haul of the league campaign on Saturday to set up a six-wicket win and condemn Halstead to relegation.

Swardeston chose to bowl first and Walker was soon into the action, having Will Clark caught at mid-off by Peter Lambert with his first ball.

Walker struck again with the first ball of his second over as Andrew Charlton edged to slip.

Josh Wells stood firm for Halstead, but his team-mates continued to struggle as Michael Parlane and Michael Eccles each picked up a wicket and Matthew Taylor bagged two, leaving the hosts on 92 for six.


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Walker returned to claim his third wicket and following a run out, he finally removed Wells for 63, caught by skipper Mark Thomas at extra cover.

Last man Callum Hansey became Walker's fifth victim as Halstead were bowled out for 127 in the 50th over, Walker finishing with five for 33.

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The first ball of the Swardeston reply, bowled by Daniel Sincuba, was a wide, but with his next delivery he had Richard Sims caught behind.

Parlane (34) and Stephen Gray (38) put Swardeston on track with a second wicket stand of 71, before the visitors lost three quick wickets.

With clouds gathering, it was left to Jeremy Elliott (22no) and Ian Tufts (27no) to see Swardeston home just before tea.

That result extended Swardeston's lead to 29 points after second-placed Vauxhall Mallards could only draw at home to Great Witchingham.

Witchingham were put into bat and in the absence of James Spelman, James Hale took responsibility for giving the innings a solid start, hitting 69 from 130 balls with 11 fours.

After he was dismissed, Witchingham slumped to 136 for five, but skipper Tom Collishaw (36no) and Jonathan Spelman (44) gave the innings a late boost. Both smashed five sixes as Witchingham closed on 216 for six from their reduced allocation off 55 overs.

Spelman then maintained his momentum with the ball, taking the key wicket of Carl Amos. After Willie Lonsdale had removed Matt Plater, Spelman struck again to make it 37 for three.

David Turner (41) and Ali Shearer (36) added 67, but could not go on to post a significant score. Lonsdale finished with four wickets as Mallards struggled to 162 for eight by the close, Tom Brice averting the possibility of defeat with an unbeaten 32.

Rain denied Horsford the chance to push for victory against Clacton at Manor Park.

Half-centuries from Jaik Mickleburgh (68), Luke Caswell (75) and Chris Sabburg (58no) allowed Horsford to declare on 250 for three from 54 overs.

Clacton were immediately in trouble against the new ball as Michael Warnes and Luke Caswell claimed two wickets each to leave the visitors on 19 for four.

But the Essex side were saved by the rain as the match was called off in the 12th over of the Clacton innings.

The other three matches were all halted early by the rain.

Cambridge Granta's match at home to Bury was abandoned in the first innings, while the matches between Burwell and Sudbury and Saffron Walden and Copdock & Old Ipswichian were declared draws.

SCOREBOARD

• Swardeston (30pts) beat Halstead (2) by six wickets at Halstead

Halstead: W Clark c Lambert b Walker 12, A Charlton c Sims b Walker 9, J Wells c Thomas b Walker 63, D Sincuba c Lambert b Parlane 9, F Preston c Sims b M Taylor 9, T Philp c Gray b M Taylor 4, C Rayner c C Taylor b Eccles 0, A Morris b Walker 7, S Walter run out (Parlane) 4, J Morris not out 0, C Hansey c Parlane b Walker 0; extras 10; Total (49.3 ovs) 127. Bowling: M Eccles 12-4-20-1, M Thomas 7-1-9-0, M Taylor 8-0-38-2, G Walker 15.3-4-33-5, M Parlane 7-0-21-1

Swardeston: R Sims c Wells b Sincuba 0, M Parlane b Sincuba 34, S Gray b Rayner 38, P Lambert c Wells b Sincuba 0, J Elliott not out 22, I Tufts not out 27; extras 7; Total (4 wkts, 20.1 ovs) 128. Bowling: D Sincuba 10.1-0-62-3, F Preston 5-1-27-0, C Rayner 5-0-34-1

• Horsford (15) drew with Clacton (4) at Manor Park

Horsford: M Spenceley c Gericke b France 0, J Mickleburgh c Brown b Sheikh 68, L Caswell c Brown b Comber 75, C Sabburg not out 58, J Wild not out 32; extras 17. Total (3 wkts dec, 54 ovs) 250. Bowling: B France 13-5-40-1, S Silva 12-2-52-0, R Chamberlain 4-1-20-0, S Gericke 11-0-53-0, I Sheikh 6-2-20-1, M Comber 8-0-48-1

Clacton: G Brown c Perry Warnes b MW Warnes 1, M Atif c&b Caswell 5, B France c Smith b Caswell 10, M Comber c Smith b MW Warnes 1; extras 2; Total (4 wkts, 11.4 ovs) 19. Bowling: MW Warnes 6-1-15-2, L Caswell 5.4-3-2-2

• Vauxhall Mallards (7) drew with Great Witchingham (13) at Brundall

Great Witchingham: J Hale c Stone b Lipshaw 69, S Arthurton jnr c Goodenough b Addison 19, M Hale c M Plater b Bradshaw 7, S Groves c Stone b Lipshaw 14, W Lonsdale c Bradshaw b Schoeman 20, T Collishaw not out 36, J Spelman c Goodenough b Bradshaw 44, B Ringer not out 0; extras 7; Total (6 wkts, 55 ovs) 216. Bowling: P Bradshaw 12-5-36-2, M Addison 13-5-32-1, T Brice 11-2-40-0, C Schoeman 9-1-44-1, S Lipshaw 10-3-58-2

Vauxhall Mallards: C Amos lbw JO Spelman 6, D Turner lbw Collishaw 41, M Plater c Groves b Lonsdale 4, C Schoeman lbw JO Spelman 12, A Shearer c Collishaw b Lonsdale 36, O Stone c Groves b Lonsdale 6, R Goodenough c Cullen b Collishaw 6, P Bradshaw b Lonsdale 8, T Brice not out 32, S Lipshaw not out 0; extras 11; Total (8 wkts, 36 ovs) 162. Bowling: W Lonsdale 12-2-27-4, JO Spelman 9-3-28-2, J Hale 9-3-43-0, T Collishaw 6-0-54-2

• Burwell 209-8 (M Richards 52no, 9 pts) drew with Sudbury (7pts) at Burwell

• Cambridge Granta 147-2 (C Park 77no) v Bury St Edmunds, match abandoned, both teams receive 7 points at Clare College

• Copdock & Old Ipswichian 174-5 (C Swallow 78, 6pts) drew with Saffron Walden 62-3 (5pts) at Saffron Walden

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