Great Witchingham’s star duo stand and deliver
East Anglian Premier League: Carl Rogers and James Spelman led the way with an opening stand of 200 as Great Witchingham continued to blaze the trail in pursuit of a maiden East Anglian Premier League title.
The prolific Rogers hammered 144 for his second league century this term, closing in on the 500-run mark in the process.
Norfolk colleague Spelman fell eight short of a century but there was time for young batsman Sam Arthurton to make his mark, posting an unbeaten 40 as the Witches racked up a daunting 300 for 3 in 66 overs at Clacton.
The hosts were then undone by another of Witchingham's young talents as teenage spinner James Hale, 18, claimed six for 76 in 16 overs of left-arm wizardry as the Essex outfit were dismissed for 150.
While the league's only unbeaten team were motoring along in top gear, Horsford and Swardeston underlined their determination not to be outpaced, moving up to dispute second as the morning's second-placed side Vauxhall Mallards dropped to fourth following a frustrating draw at home to Burwell.
Swardeston's Peter Lambert top scored with 90 as the visitors overcame reigning champions Cambridge Granta's 200-8 total at Clare College.
It was the third score in the nervous 90s this season for the gifted Lambert who is still waiting for his maiden EAPL ton.
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Richard Simms also hit 55 in Swardeston's six-wicket success. Jaden Hatwell had earlier claimed 4 for 55 and George Walker 3 for 26, including eight maidens in 18 overs as the hosts posted a modest-looking 200-8 based around 74 from Sean Park.
Batsmen held sway at Manor Park, Horsford, where only six wickets fell in 116 overs of play.
Bury St Edmunds opener Justin Bishop top scored with 101, Scott Harvey adding an unbeaten half century in the 223-3 total.
But Horsford were not to be outshone as Reece O' Connell (66 not out) and Nathan Perry Warnes (51) topped the contributions in a solid seven-wicket success.
Mallards narrowly failed in their bid to force a victory as Burwell's rearguard action secured a draw with two wickets in hand.
Deciding to take first use of their Brundall pitch, Mallards racked up a mammoth 385-5 total before declaring after 63 overs.
The highlight was a blistering century from all-rounder Gerrie Snyman who cracked 101 in 59 balls including 11 fours and six sixes.
Peter Free continued the assault with an unbeaten 100, while David Turner (77) and Alistair Shearer (56) also got in on the act.
Mallards could sense victory at 147-8 but were frustrated by tailenders as the visitors held out to reach 172-8. Meanwhile Norwich's woes deepened after a heavy defeat in their basement battle with Halstead at Ingham.
After winning the toss the visitors vindicated their decision to bat first declaring after posting 330-5 in a dominant display by Matthew Spatcher (89) and Amit Gupta (92). with half centuries from Josh Wells and Matthew Surrey.
Spinner Ashley Watson (3 for 36 from 16.2 overs) did his best to stem the flow of runs but his colleagues enjoyed scant success.
Norwich's reply hit trouble from the outset as they were reduced to 33-4.
Man of the match Ashley Watson led the recovery with 110 and Tom Goodley weighed in with 56 but the hosts were eventually dismissed for 230, 100 runs short of the target, with chief tormentor Ed Clark claiming 5 for 42 from his 11 overs.
The day's other match – a mid-table affair between Saffron Walden and Sudbury – ended in a draw.
Walden posted 261, Grant Gillard top scoring with 58 and captain Darren Batch and K Fernando sharing eight wickets for the Suffolk side who could only muster a painstaking 132-6.