Round-up: Norfolk look to hold nerve in Staffordshire whilst Swardeston win through to Championship final
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk's final match in the Minor Counties Championship at Staffordshire is delicately poised after day one.
Minor Counties Championship
Norfolk's final match of their Minor Counties Championship campaign at Staffordshire is delicately poised after day one.
Norfolk only need a draw in Longton to reach next month's final to face Berkshire but Ashley Watson's side have work to do to ensure they reach their first championship final since 2002.
Watson won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Staffs to bat first on a pitch where there had been no play in Longton's club game on Saturday due to wet conditions.
Norfolk made a good start when Andy Hanby clean bowled Staffordshire captain Kadeer Ali, the brother of Moin, with just eight runs on the board.
The score had moved on to 25 when Hanby struck again bowling Alex Mellor for 2. Brett Stolworthy was playing his part bowling seven consecutive maidens and had both the new batsmen Matthew Morris and Michael Hill playing and missing.
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The pair settled in and started to play well. With the score on 104 the young Norfolk seamer Will Means produced an excellent delivery to induce an edge from Hill's bat for Tom New to take the catch behind. Hill went for 44.
Tim Maxfield joined Morris at the crease and the pair saw Staffordshire to lunch on 141 for 3. Morris was unbeaten on 66 and Maxfield 21.
After the break the duo set about the Norfolk attack and had added 99 for the fourth wicket when Charlie Rogers with the first ball of his second over took an excellent one handed return catch to dismiss Maxfield for 65.
Peter Wilshaw had a few lusty blows in his entertaining 24 before he pulled a full toss from Rogers to Jason Reynolds on the deep mid wicket boundary.
At 241 for 5 Staffordshire were well placed with 35 overs to go but Hanby who had returned to the attack had other ideas.
First he cleaned bowled Rob Hemmings and then trapped Spencer Byatt LBW next ball. When Morris who had made a splendid maiden century put a ball in the air to Stolworthy it was Hanby's third five wicket haul of the championship campaign.
The game had turned on its head with Staffordshire 261 for 8. Dan Richardson was next to go when he edged Hanby to keeper New. It just remained for Hanby to take a stunning one handed catch above his head on the boundary edge off the bowling of Watson to close the innings on 284.
The Norfolk reply started with Jason Reynolds opening the innings with Sam Arthurton.
Reynolds had made just one when he was bowled by the lively Warwickshire second team bowler Manraj Johal with the score on 14.
Will Rogers played a few nice shots before he was beaten by Rob Hemmings for 18 with the total on 53. Arthurton had battled hard and was now starting to play freely when Tom New was very unlucky to be given out LBW for 5 to a ball he had clearly hit.
When Arthurton went the same way for 45 Norfolk were in some trouble on 74 for 4. Stephan Marillier took three fours off one Hemmings over before he was adjudged LBW to Hemmings for 13 with the score on 99. Ryan Findlay and skipper Watson managed to safely negotiate the last 25 minutes of play to see Norfolk to the close on 127 for 5. Findlay is not out 30 and Watson is unbeaten on 7.
Royal London Club Championship
Swardeston are through to the final of the Royal London Club Championship after overcoming Ealing CC by 32 runs on The Common on Sunday.
They will be heading to Lord's on Monday, September 16 to face Nantwich CC after they overcame Ormskirk by three wickets.
Peter Lambert was the star batsman for Swardeston with an impressive knock of 81 from just 50 balls and he was ably supported by Stephen Gray (48) and Joe Gatting (39) as the home side put on 259-7 from their 40 overs.
Mylo Wilkin (109) led the reply for the visitors but only Ryan Farrell (29) and Bailey Capel (34) offered any kind of support as they were all out for 227. Callum Taylor (4-29) and Richard Sims (3-28) doing the damage for Swardeston.
Centuries from Callum Taylor and Joe Gatting helped Swardeston to a huge victory as they moved above Sudbury into second position in the East Anglian Premier League.
Swardeston, who went into the match behind their opponents, put on an authoritative display to take maximum points although the gap to leaders Frinton On Sea remains at 26 points as they beat Bury St Edmunds.
After winning the toss, Swardeston elected to bat and Callum Taylor led from the front, putting on 116 whilst Gatting hit a superb 100 off 53 balls as the visitors put on a mammoth total of 396 from their 50 overs.
Sudbury's reply never really got going as a result with Toby Duncan and Richard Sims taking three wickets apiece. The hosts' innings was brought to a close in the 24th over on 174, well short of their target.
Horsford ground out a hard-fought three wicket win at home against Saffron Walden. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, putting on 260 with Horsford's Sadaf Hussain proving the pick of the bowlers with five wickets from his 10 overs as Ryan Findlay chipped in with three of his own. After losing Matthew Plater early on, Luke Findlay and William Rogers put on 104 runs before Findlay was caught and bowled on 56. Rogers went on to make 75 with the help of Stephan Marillier (56) and the home side held their nerve as Christopher Read hit the winning runs.
Great Witchingham closed the gap on Copdock & Old Ipswichian in fifth place with a narrow victory. Jack Boyle anchored their innings with an excellent 116 whilst opening partner Sam Groves also hit 66 with their 50 overs closing on 269-6. Copdock's reply was interrupted by the rain and they were given a revised target of 224 from 40 overs and they came agonisingly close, falling just three runs short - Peter Trewick doing the most damage with the ball, taking four wickets from his eight overs.
Vauxhall Mallards were well beaten at home to Cambridge CC by eight wickets. Mallards elected to bat after winning the toss but slumped to 65 all out and their opponents knocked off the runs without alarm by the eighth over.
Frinton hammered Bury by 10 wickets as their march to the title continued whilst Burwell & Exning beat Mildenhall by 38 runs.
North Runcton are the new Premier Division champions as they took full advantage of Fakenham's slip-up at home to Stow by taking victory at Diss by eight wickets.
It's two defeats in a row now for Fakenham against their title rivals and Runcton took full advantage to take the championship.
After winning the toss, Fakenham elected to bat but only Lloyd Marshall (50) and Will Dunger (45) made any significant impression as their innings finished on 186-9. Stow sensed their opportunity and kept their composure to reach their target for the loss of seven wickets and move into second place in the table.
Runcton maintained their momentum - they put Diss into bat and bowled them out for 140. Kirwin Christoffels (67) and Jack Major (34) helped the visitors to their target without alarm and claim the title.