Norfolk teams have good weekend in East Anglian Premier League
- Credit: Ian Burt
It was an excellent weekend for Norfolk teams in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, with four of the county's five representatives recording impressive wins.
Horsford, Vauxhall Mallards and Great Witchingham all turned on the style with the ball to set up comfortable victories while champions Swardeston displayed their qualities with the bat to come out on top in a high-scoring match at Saffron Walden.
On a day when the bowlers tended to have the upper hand, two impressive fourth-wicket partnerships were the feature of an entertaining match that saw Mark Thomas' side edge home by two wickets in the 55th over.
Hosts Saffron Walden batted well to make 274 for seven with Alistair Russell (86) and Matthew Gouldstone (89) putting on 143 together.
That was good, but the partnership was bettered later in the day by Swardeston's Mohammed Wajihuddin (79) and Stephen Gray (75), who added 146 for their side's fourth wicket.
It was a third successive impressive contribution from Wajihuddin since his arrival from Pakistan and proved crucial in the end as Saffron Walden continued to chip away at the visitors' batting line-up. In the end Richard Sims saw his side over the line with an unbeaten 29 to help them move to within a point of leaders Woolpit, who were comfortable victors over Burwell.
Horsford did Swardeston a favour as they got their stuttering campaign truly up and running with a superb 110-run win over Cambridge Granta, who had started the day in second position.
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Runs were not easy to come by at Manor Park but Ryan Findlay's side knuckled down and reached 204 for nine in their 64 overs, with the highest score being Tom Birks' 36.
The hard work with the bat was then rewarded, with Granta being bowled out for just 94 as Caleb Futter took 5-28 and Findlay 4-24.
Vauxhall Mallards won by 112 runs at Copdock and Ipswichian as they followed up a solid batting performance with a ruthless display with the ball. Mallards' top four of Matt Plater, Mitchell Todd, the ever reliable Devon Conway and Brett Stolworthy all passed 50 in a total of 280 for five and Adam Todd and Paul Bradshaw then quickly took five wickets between them to reduce their hosts to 15-5. Copdock battled back from those depths but were always fighting a losing battle and were all out for 168.
Great Witchingham were the other emphatic winners of the day after cruising to victory batting second. They bowled out Bury St Edmunds for 122, with James Hale returning the eye-catching figures of 8-2-9-4, and then got home for the loss for just three wickets.
Guiding them home was Sam Arthurton, who followed up his fourth century in four Championship matches for Norfolk at Luton on Tuesday with an unbeaten 57.
The only disappointing result for the county's teams came at Postwick, where Norwich were dismissed for 88 in just 22 overs by Frinton, with five players being dismissed for ducks as Mervyn Westfield took 6-24. With Aaron Watson taking 4-34 the Essex outfit were given plenty to think about in reply but got home with three wickets to spare.