Gibbs Denley EAPL: Swardeston maintain a point lead
Tension mounted in the cat-and- mouse race for the EAPL title as old foes Swardeston and Vauxhall Mallards both picked up 25 points in nine-wicket wins.
Swardeston maintain a one-point advantage after disposing of reigning champions Cambridge Granta while in time-honoured fashion Mallards are hot on their heels after an equally emphatic success over Sudbury.
With five games remaining, many twists and turns are possible but the prospect of a final-day shootout when the Norfolk archrivals meet at Swardeston on September 15 (10.30) looms ever larger.
Skipper Paul Bradshaw paved the way for the Mallards success at Brundall, inserting the visitors and claiming five for five in a devastating eight-over pace spell as Granta were shot out for 105 in 31 overs.
An unbeaten 91-run second-wicket partnership between Matt Plater and David Turner (30no) saw Mallards home in the 21st over.
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Despite losing the toss Swardeston made early inroads into the Granta innings with Mark Thomas removing Rory Darkins and Alex Fullarton. The introduction of leg-spinner Matt Taylor, 15, saw the youngster pick up three wickets to reduce the hosts to 79-6. Sean Park and Harry Beddows added 23 for the seventh wicket before Thomas returned just before lunch to pick up the wicket of Park for 23.
Beddows provided stubborn resistance and, with the help of Lewys Hill, they added 37 for the eighth wicket before Thomas removed Hill to pick up his fourth wicket. Michael Eccles then picked up two wickets, including the resilient Beddows, who topscored with 29, to dismiss the home side for 153. Thomas finished with 4 for 36 and Taylor 3 for 33,
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In reply Swardeston never looked in trouble as Jordan Taylor (32) and New Zealander Michael Parlane (76no) added 84 for the first wicket with Taylor falling to a combination of the Park brothers. Stephen Gray (37 no) joined Parlane and they calmly saw Swardeston across the line in the 41st over, adding 70 for the second wicket.
Horsford suffered a slight setback to their hopes of a maiden EAPL title success, dropping points in a draw with league newcomers Copdock and Old Ipswichians at Manor Park, but remain close enough if good enough in third place.
Seamer Luke Caswell and spinner Chris Brown shared eight wickets, the Norfolk duo both bagging four for 40 as the visitors posted a 237 total dominated by Chris Swallow's middle order 90. Caswell was also in good form with the bat, topscoring with 44 in the 183-8 reply, which saw Swallow claim four for 49.
Great Witchingham recorded their eighth draw of the campaign as they were denied by Bury St Edmunds at Walcis Park.
After deciding to bat the Witches steadily accumulated 198-8 in 66 overs. Tom Collishaw's 72 proved the cornerstone of the effort, which saw Tom Huggins claim five for 55 from 15 overs for the visitors.
Opener Huggins led the reply, topscoring with 67. But the run chase failed to hit top gear, and James Spelman and James Hale shared six wickets as the visitors closed on 157-7 after 57 overs.
Halstead were cast further adrift at the foot of the table after a seven- wicket home defeat by Saffron Walden.
• Swardeston (25 points) beat Cambridge Granta (2) by nine wickets at Clare College.
Cambridge Granta: R Darkins lbw Thomas 21, J Cowan c Lambert b Parlane 16, A Fullarton c Grey b Thomas 0, C Park c Parlane b Taylor 9, D Rice c Elliott b Taylor 1, J Atkinson c Gray b Taylor 9, S Park c Gray b Thomas 23, H Beddows c Gray b Eccles 29, L Hill c Taylor b Thomas 17, F Fairhead b Eccles 4, R Singh not out 5; extras 19. Total (58.1 overs) 153. Bowling: M Eccles 14.1-2-29-2, M Thomas 18-8-36-4, J Elliott 1-0-7-0, M Parlane 14-3-35-1, M Taylor 11-1-33-3.
Swardeston: J Taylor c C Park b S Park 32, M Parlane not out 76, S Gray not out 37; extras 9. Total (1 wkt, 40.4 overs) 154. Bowling: R Singh 7-1-18-0, C Park 5-1-15-0, S Park 11-7-18-1, L Hill 5-2-16-0, F Fairhead 2.4-0-27-0, A Fullarton 3-0-22-0, J Atkinson 3-0-22-0, R Darkins 4-0-13-0.
• Great Witchingham (8) drew with Bury St Edmunds (8) at Wallis Park.
Great Witchingham: JM Spelman c Bellward b Rash 29, C Rogers c McKinney b Jhunjhunwala 27, S Arthurton jnr b Huggins 27, J Hale c Bellward b Rash 0, T Collishaw c Rash b Huggins 72, W Lonsdale c Bishop b Huggins 2, JO Spelman c Ward b Huggins 9, M Hale c Adams b Huggins 6, N Cullen not out 1, B Ringer not out 10; extras 15. Total (8 wkts, 66 overs). Bowling: J Bishop 10-041-0, T Rash 17-5-36-2, T Robotham 6-2-18-0, T Huggins 15-3-55-5, A Jhunjhunwala 18-3-41-1.
Bury St Edmunds: T Huggins c Rogers b Hale 67, S Ward c S Arthurton jnr b JM Spelman 0, C Lomas c Hale b JM Spelman 18, A Jhunjhunwala lbw JM Spelman 2, J Bishop c S Arthurton jnr b Hale 6, T Adams lbw Lonsdale 21, T Rash not out 17, A Kizis c S Arthurton jnr b Hale 13, B Bellward not out 8; extras 5. Total (7 wkts, 57 overs) 157. Bowling: W Lonsdale 14-0-60-1, J M Spelman 10-3-15-3, JO Spelman 6-0-16-0, C Rogers 9-3-17-0, J Hale 18-3-47-3.
• Horsford (10) drew with Copdock and Old Ipswichian (13) at Manor Park.
Copdock and Old Ipswichian: A Gravell c Sabburg b Brown 42, C Viljoen lbw Caswell 0, M Cull c Spenceley b Brown 34, J Kingstone c Sabburg b Brown 31, C Swallow c Perry-Warnes b MW Warnes 90, E Pope c Smith b Perry-Warnes 7, H Gravell c Sabburg b Brown 23, J Rice st Smith b Caswell 3, E Wright c-b Caswell 2, S Gauke c Wilkinson b Caswell 1, A Bhatt not out 0; extras 4. Total (65.4 overs) 237. Bowling: MW Warnes 14-2-42-1, L Caswell 12.4-2-40-4, MR Warnes 4-0-8-0, J Wild 9-0-56-0, C Brown 18-2-40-4, C Sabburg 4-0-26-0, N Perry-Warnes 4-0-24-1.
Horsford: M Spenceley c Gravell b Swallow 11, C Sabburg c Kingstone b Wright 17, L Caswell c Swallow b Viljoen 44, J Wild lbw Swallow 37, M Wilkinson b Viljoen 18, N Perry-Warnes c Bhatt b Swallow 13, MR Warnes b Viljoen 7, MW Warnes c Gravell b Swallow 5, C Brown not out 10, D Smith not out 2; extras 19. (8 wkts, 54 overs) 183. Bowling: C Viljoen 18-5-45-3, E Wright 6-0-28-1, C Swallow 18-3-49-4, E Pope 5-0-30-0, S Gauke 7-0-21-0.
• Vauxhall Mallards (25) beat Sudbury (0) by nine wickets at Brundall.
Sudbury: P Siegert c Lipshaw b Bradshaw 0, J Phillips b Bradshaw 2, D Batch c Shearer b Bradshaw 13, H Fernando lbw Addison 1, J Poulson b Lipshaw 11, N Poole c Lipshaw b Addison 1, A Mansfield lbw Bradshaw 1, K Moulton-Day c Goodenough b Bradshaw 1, B Reece b Schoeman 51, J Gallagher c Goodenough b Lipshaw 7, B Moulton-Day not out 12; extras 5. Total (31 overs) 105. Bowling: P Bradshaw 8-3-5-5, M Addison 8-0-27-2, S Lipshaw 5-3-18-2, T Brice 6-0-34-0, C Schoeman 4-1-16-1.
Vauxhall Mallards: C Amos b B Moulton-Day 13, D Turner not out 30, M Plater not out 60; extras 6. Total (1 wkt, 20.4 overs). Bowling: H Fernando 6.4-0-37-0, J Gallagher 4-1-19-0, B Moulton-Day 5-1-23-1, D Batch 2-0-14-0, B Reece 3-0-11-0.
• Burwell 212 (S Gerike 5-44, 30 pts) beat Clacton (K Toner 6-21, 5 pts) by 89 runs at Burwell.
• Saffron Walden 173-3 (25 pts) beat Halstead 172 (A Gale 5-58, 3 pts) by seven wickets at Halstead.