Sam Arthurton century guides Great Witchingham to victory
Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League
Two of Norfolk's brightest young batting prospects produced sparkling innings on Saturday – but only one was left smiling at the end of the day.
Sam Arthurton, 18, pictured below, led Great Witchingham to victory with an unbeaten century against Sudbury, while 21-year-old Peter Lambert hit 95, but fell at the final hurdle in his attempt to guide Swardeston to an unlikely win over Bury St Edmunds.
Sudbury had first use of excellent batting conditions at Witchingham and skipper Darren Batch fired 140no to lead his side to a total of 269 for seven from 66 overs. New Zealander Ryan McCone kept the visitors in check with his first five-wicket haul in the EAPL.
In reply, Witchingham openers James Spelman and Carl Rogers both fell for 36 and Tom Collishaw went for 28, bringing Shaun Arthurton to join his son, Sam, at the crease.
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The duo took the Witches to within touching distance of victory before Shaun was stumped for 52, but Sam completed the job, finishing on 105no as the hosts won on the final ball of the 60th over.
Lambert guided Swardeston to within five runs of victory at home to Bury, but he was then last man out, five short of his maiden EAPL century.
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Bury were put into bat at The Common and after Michael Eccles removed both openers, they looked set for a big score as they went in for lunch on 131 for two.
But three balls after the interval the 100-run stand between Scott Harvey (53) and Simon Rees (55) was broken and it needed a crucial, quickfire 38 from Tom Rash to push the visitors up to 213 all out. Jaden Hatwell claimed three wickets for Swardeston.
Swardeston were looking good at 77 for one in response, with Joel Abraham (43) and Lambert proceeding smoothly.
But a disastrous spell either side of tea saw the departure of Abraham, Hatwell, Will Rist, George Walker and Ian Tufts as the hosts slumped to 107 for six.
Chances of a home victory looked even more remote when Mark Thomas departed with the score on 143, but an eighth-wicket stand of 65 between Lambert and Eccles turned the game on its head. There was a final twist, however, as Michael Nunn took three wickets in six balls, finishing with the scalp of Lambert, who had fired four sixes and 10 fours in his 99-ball innings.
Paul Bradshaw and Martin Addison both bagged five-wicket hauls as Vauxhall Mallards maintained their perfect start to the season with a 26-run win at champions Cambridge Granta.
Mallards' total was again based around the contribution of South African Glen Addicott, who followed his century last weekend with 52 on Saturday as the visitors totalled 191 for nine.
Bradshaw and Addison then reduced the hosts to 62 for six, before Sean Park (84) and Harry Beddows (41) revived Granta with a stand of 94. But Mallards' opening pair returned to mop up all 10 wickets between them as Granta were bowled out for 165.
Horsford were unable to build on their opening day victory as they lost by two wickets in a tight match at Clacton.
Daniel Clark top scored with 38 in Horsford's 180 all out, while Louis Bellchamber added 35.
Clacton looked to be cruising at 109 for one, but Horsford skipper Chris Brown claimed four wickets to make it 144 for six. Australian Reece O'Connell stepped in with three victims, but Clacton held their nerve and completed victory in the penultimate over.
It was a similarly tense affair at Postwick, where Norwich suffered a second consecutive defeat, at the hands of Burwell.
Overseas player Erik Laubscher made 68 in the hosts' total of 219 all out.
The visitors' chase was heavily reliant on 92 from Frans Johannes Bester, but when he became one of three victims for Norwich skipper Paul Wiseman, the hosts had a chance of victory. Burwell's ninth wicket pair snuffed out their hope, guiding the visitors to their target in the 52nd over.
Saffron Walden thrashed Halstead by 175 runs, Jacob Rodgers taking four for 31 as Halstead were bowled out for just 79.