Swardeston battle back to move 25 points clear at top

Norfolk Alliance Division One - Acle v Lowestoft. Acle celebrate the wicket of Nathan Garrod.Picture

Norfolk Alliance Division One - Acle v Lowestoft. Acle celebrate the wicket of Nathan Garrod.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

An eighth wicket stand of 94 between Jason Reynolds and Michael Eccles proved to be the key to a narrow victory that took Swardeston 25 points clear at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

The first versus second encounter against Copdock and Ipswichian seemed to be going the way of the Suffolk side when they won the toss and reduced the home side to 93 for seven. But then Reynolds (69) and Eccles (29) turned the game on its head with some sensible batting that took the score onto a respectable 187 before the pair were dismissed off consecutive deliveries.

The innings closed soon after their departures with just three further runs being added, but the hosts now had something to defend and produced a typically strong five-man bowling performance to get home by 19 runs. South African Cody Chetty scored an excellent 79 for Copdock, while there was plenty of fight from the tail after the visitors had slipped to 132 for eight, but the champions kept their nerve, with young Tom Oxley returning after a brief spell at the start of the innings to take the decisive wicket in tandem with wicketkeeper Stephen Gray.

It was an important win for Mark Thomas' side, who had started the day just one point ahead of their opponents - and there was more good news when it emerged that third placed Woolpit had slipped to a surprise 27-run defeat at the hands of lowly Norwich.

This match also featured an excellent stand down the order, with brothers Jamie and Dominic Mirner taking Norwich from 149 for nine to 224 all out with some defiant batting.

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Jamie finished unbeaten on 50 while Dominic made 29, and it was then quickly down to business with the ball, with Jamie catching the eye again with figures of five for 31 as Woolpit slipped to 197 all out, despite a brave unbeaten 79 from Andy Northcote.

Norfolk paceman Kieran Bunting put his injury problems behind him by taking four for 35 as Great Witchingham cruised to a nine wicket win over Burwell. The Cambridgeshire side collapsed from 79 for two to 123 all out, with James Hale also playing a key role with three for 19, and the Witches then knocked off the runs with the minimum fuss as James Spelman and Hale put together an unbroken second wicket partnership of 113.

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Vauxhall Mallards made a solid 240 against Frinton at Halvergate, with South African Devon Conway continuing his impressive summer by reaching 102, but it was not enough, with the Essex side getting home in 53 overs.

There were runs galore at Saffron Walden, with visitors Horsford eventually having to settle for a draw after an exciting finish.The home side reached 278 for six, with Alec Smith making 132, and after thrilling run chase Ryan Findlay's side eventually finished four short of their target. Stephan Marillier scored 91 in 99 balls to set up the victory attempt before some brave batting down the order led by Chris Brown, who finished unbeaten on 56, took them agonisingly close.

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