Horsford end Norwich’s long stay in EAPL
The penultimate weekend of league action dealt a killer blow to Norfolk hopes at both ends of the table as Cambridge Granta sealed title succcess and Norwich were relegated.
A magnificent century from Harry Bush proved in vain as Norwich were beaten by old foes Horsford by five wickets at Postwick.
Although Clacton, the other team in the relegation dogfight, were beaten at Bury, the points secured in the nine-run defeat were enough to secure their safety.
It also meant that Norwich, founder EAPL members in 1999, and champions in 2001 and 2002, must regroup in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division next season.
The free-scoring Bush's century was the highlight of their meeting with Horsford, which saw the hosts make the worst possible start, with Australian opener Erik Laubscher removed for a duck and partner Mark Tipping swift to follow.
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Bush set about repairing the damage with a near run-a-ball 125, sharing in partnerships with Chris Borrett (20) and Oliver Higenbottam (37). The declaration was made after 56 overs at 209 for 7 giving Norwich extra overs to secure the win they desperately needed.
Horsford, whose indifferent away form has cost them their chance of winning the title, made steady progress after Nathan Perry-Warnes (33) and Matthew Spencely put on 59 for the first wicket.
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Australian all-rounder Reece O'Connell broke Norwich hearts with a defiant unbeaten 81 as Horsford reached their target in the 63rd over with five wickets in hand.
Meanwhile Cambridge Granta put paid to any lingering Norfolk hopes of EAPL title success as they notched up their 10th win in the last 11 completed games in a comfortable 64-run success against Sudbury.
Alex Fullarton (57) and Sean Park (47) were the chief contributors to a 214-9 total which saw Kandage Fernando claim 5 for 49.
Fernando topscored with 75 in a disappointing reply of 150 which saw Jason Coleman claim 5 for 36.
Great Witchingham's hopes of bagging runners-up spot were given a major boost as they crushed old foes Swardeston by 105 runs to leapfrog them in the table.
Captain James Spelman (48) and his Norfolk colleagues Carl Rogers (96) and Sam Arthurton (97) weighed in heavily in a Walcis Park run-fest which saw the hosts post 285-3 with Rogers and Spelman putting on 123 for the first wicket.
Leading EAPL runscorer Rogers needs 28 in the final game to reach the 1,000 milestone.
The Swardeston reply struggled to get into gear and despite a spirited late 62 from Mark Thomas they collapsed to 180 all out in the 43rd over. Witchingham travel to Burwell on the final day while Swardeston entertain relegated Norwich.
Vauxhall Mallards look booked for fourth place after their high-scoring draw with Saffron Walden. An unbeaten 112 from David Turner and 67 from Carl Amos formed the basis of their 284-3 total, the duo compiling a 121-run opening stand. Walden recovered from a shocking start to their reply, which saw their top three dismissed for ducks, to reach 263-6. Former England and Essex star Jason Gallian starred with 123 in 137 balls, putting on 201 for the fourth wicket with Giles Ecclestone (74).
• Great Witchingham (30) beat Swardeston (3) by 105 runs at Walcis Park
Great Witchingham: JM Spelman c Rist b Herathge 48, C Rogers c-b Walker 96, S Arthurton jnr not out 97, T Collishaw c Taylor b Thelwell 25, R McCone not out 12; extras 7. Total (3 wkts, 66 overs) 285. Bowling: M Eccles 12-0-71-0, M Thomas 6-2-7-0, S Thelwell 9-1-52-1, J Hatwell 18-3-73-0, G Walker 18-2-66-1, S Herathge 3-1-12-1.
Swardeston: P Lambert c Groves b McCone 23, J Taylor run out (Arthurton jnr) 1, D Martin b JO Spelman 9, J Hatwell b Hale 16, I Tufts c Arthurton jnr b JO Spelman 9, W Rist c Groves b Arthurton jnr 30, S Herathge c Groves b JO Spelman 0, G Walker b Hale 10, M Thomas c Arthurton b McCone 62, M Eccles run out (Hale) 6, S Thelwell not out 1; extras 13. Total (42.1 overs) 180. Bowling: R McCone 13-2-31-2, JM Spelman 4-0-27-0, JO Spelman 10-3-36-3, J Hale 9-0-56-2, S Arthurton 4-0-23-1, C Rogers 2-0-4-0, J Thompson 0.1-0-0-0.
• Halstead (11pts) drew with Burwell (16 pts) at Star Stile
Burwell: P Richer c Rayner b Gupta 4, C Summerskill lbw Philp 0, F Johannes Bester st Blackwell b Clark 58, P Summerskill c Blackwell b Clark 29, G Goosen c Blackwell b Elsbury 35, D Jone lbw Philp 30, W Lawton c Blackwell b Douglas-Hughes 20, T Afzal c Philp b Rayner 86, A Huckle c Philp b Douglas-Hughes 1, M Bissett lbw Douglas-Hughes 0, J Vowden Not Out 7. Extras 10. Total 280 (64.2ovs). Bowling: T Philp 17-0-71-2, A Gupta 10-2-47-1, E Clark 6-0-35-2, C Rayner 5.2-1-18-1, D Elsbury 16-1-40-1, B Blackwell 3-0-19-0, C Douglas-Hughes 7-0-44-3
Halstead: F Blackwell b Johannes Bester 4, P Cooper b F Johannes Bester 19, J Wells ro Summerskill 84, A Gupta c Johannes Bester b Afzal 24, O Ekers c Vowden b Bissett 11, B Blackwell Not Out 64, T Philp c Goosen b Afzal 1, C Douglas-Hughes Not Out 1. Extras 5. Total 213-6 (53 ovs). Bowling: T Afzal 16-1-42-2, F Johannes Bester 11-0-49-2, A Huckle 15-3-46-0, M Bissett 7-1-27-1, J Vowden 4-0-44-0
• Horsford (25 pts) beat Norwich (8 pts) by 5 wickets at Postwick
Norwich: E Laubscher c O'Connell b Caswell 0, M Tipping b Perry Warnes 2, H Bush c Clark b O'Connell 125, C Borrett c Smith b Brown 20, A Watson lbw Brown 0, O Higenbottam ro Lincoln 37, B Wright b O'Connell 0, C Sutton Not Out 9, A Watson Not Out 1. Extras 15. Total 209-7dec (56 ovs): Bowling: L Caswell 7-1-30-1, N Perry Warnes 6-1-37-1, M Wilkinson 18-2-46-0, C Brown 17-4-50-2, A Lincoln 4-0-19-0, R O'Connell 4-0-18-2
Horsford: M Spenceley lbw Watson 28, N Perry Warnes ct Blake b Borrett 33, R O'Connell Not Out 81, D Clark ro Wiseman 18, L Caswell cb Bush 11, C Spenceley c Blake b Bush 12, M Wilkinson Not Out 22. Extras 6. Total 211-5 (62.4 ovs). Bowling: P Wiseman 15-4-45-0, AA Watson 11-1-35-0, AM Watson 18-4-45-1, C Borrett 7.4-2-29-1, H Bush 9-0-39-2, E Laubscher 2-0-12-0
• Vauxhall Mallards (16 pts) drew with Saffron Walden (9 pts) at Brundall
Vauxhall Mallards: C Amos c Parmenter b Gale 67: D Turner Not Out 112, R Goodenough c Parmenter b Done 34, G Snyman c Ecclestone b Done 13, P Free Not Out 35. Extras 23. Total 284-3 (66 ovs). Bowling: J Barrs 12-4-35-0, N Batcheler 9-2-34-0, R Done 17-5-83-2, P Salt 3-0-24-0, G Ecclestone 8-0-18-0, A Gale 17-1-71-1
Saffron Walden: J Barrs b Bradshaw 0, A Gale b Bradshaw 0, M Pettini lbw Bradshaw 0, J Gallian b Snyman 123, G Ecclestone c Calver b Snyman 74, Parmenter Not Out 25, A Laws c Todd b Snyman 12, N Gladwin Not Out 12. Extras 20. Total 266-6 (54 overs). Bowling: P Bradshaw 7-3-5-3, A Todd 14-2-80-0, G Snyman 10-0-41-3, M Addison 10-3-43-0, S Potger 8-1-61-0, P Free 5-0-28-0
• Cambridge Granta (214-9, 66 overs, A Fullarton 57, K Fernando 5 for 49) beat Sudbury (150, 39.2 overs, K Fernando 75, J Coleman 5 for 36) by 64 runs at Clare College. Cambridge Granta 30pts, Sudbury 5 pts.
• Bury St Edmunds (177, 56.3 overs, B.France 5 for 56) beat Clacton (168, 59.1 overs G Davson 81, T Huggins 6 for 26) by 9 runs at Vista Road. Bury St Edmunds 30 pts), Clacton 6 pts.