Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League: Michael Eccles takes seven wickets in Swardeston triumph

Matt Plater on his way to 77 for Vauxhall Mallards.

Matt Plater on his way to 77 for Vauxhall Mallards.

Champions Swardeston maintained an impressive start to the defence of their title as Michael Eccles steamrollered Sudbury with seven wickets at The Common on Saturday.

Eccles, who took five wickets in the previous weekend's win against Bury, returned figures of seven for 55 as Sudbury were bowled out for just 84. Swardeston won by seven wickets to surge to the top of the table.

The visitors chose to bat first, but were left reeling on 14 for three as Eccles removed two Sudbury batsmen without scoring and skipper Mark Thomas bowled his opposite number Darren Batch.

After a shortlived recovery Norfolk paceman Eccles wrapped up his five-wicket haul to leave Sudbury on 59 for six.

George Walker bowled 11 miserly overs and was rewarded with two wickets, before Eccles completed the job, bowling Sudbury out in the 35th over.

After Jordan Taylor fell early in the Swardeston reply, Peter Lambert and Stephen Gray swiftly advanced the score to 66. Lambert fell for 38 and Gray for 27, but Swardeston cruised home in the 17th over.

An exciting game at Brundall saw morning leaders Vauxhall Mallards lose by three wickets to Cambridge Granta.

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Mallards were put into bat and Matt Plater and Ali Shearer shared in a fourth wicket stand of 107 to revive Mallards after a shaky start, before Shearer's departure for 37.

Plater reached 77 from 99 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes, before Mallards slumped to 151 for eight.

Number 10 Tom Brice boosted the total with 43 and along with EAPL debutant Caleb Futter (23) added 50 for the ninth wicket. Brice was the last man out in the 52nd over, with Mallards posting 212.

Left arm seamer Martin Addison took four wickets to leave Granta in disarray on 59 for five. But Akbar Ansari (82no) found useful support from the lower order as Granta sealed victory in the 66th over.

Horsford's spinners ran out of time to bowl Woolpit out as the Suffolk newcomers held on for their second successive draw.

Horsford chose to bat first and their innings was based around a third wicket stand of 123 between Nathan Perry-Warnes and Matthew Love.

Australian Love registered his first half-century in the league before falling for 61 from 121 balls. Perry-Warnes added 81 from 152 deliveries, including eight fours and a six as Horsford posted 199 for four.

Woolpit looked in good shape at 79 for one, before off-spinner Chris Brown (four for 59) and left-armer Ryan Findlay (pictured, four for 53) got to work. Their efforts were not enough to secure victory, however, as Woolpit closed on 157 for eight.

Almost 600 runs were scored at Saffron Walden as Great Witchingham recorded a third successive draw.

Half-centuries from Josh Wells (67), Glen Batticciotto (83) and Simon Parmenter (50) allowed Walden to declare on 321 for seven. Stephan Joubert emerged with figures of three for 89 and there were first EAPL wickets for Kieran Bunting (one for 68) and Will Dunger (two for 48).

Witchingham looked in danger at 96 for four, but skipper Tom Collishaw led them out of trouble with his maiden EAPL century.

He finished unbeaten on 104 from 103 balls, hitting 15 fours and three sixes and sharing in a fifth wicket stand of 114 with Joubert (46). Witchingham closed on 275 for five.

Copdock & Old Ipswichian beat struggling Bury by 47 runs and Clacton drew with Burwell in a close encounter.