Swardeston beat Witchingham to maintain EAPL lead
Despite a second EAPL century of the season for James Spelman, Great Witchingham were unable to claim their first win of the season to derail table-topping Swardeston at The Common.
With the help of 14 boundaries, the Norfolk opener bettered by one run the 104 he managed against Burwell two weeks earlier – before being run out by teenager Callum Taylor. But, apart from Carl Rogers, who scored 50 in a third-wicket stand of 120, Spelman received little back-up as the Witches finished on 222 for nine.
Michael Eccles took four for 34 in 18 overs, including the early cheap scalps of James Hale (0) and Sam Arthurton (5), while Jonathan Sole weighed in with three wickets for 62.
In contrast to Witchingham, the home side spread their runs around after Will Dunger removed Peter Lambert early on.
Eight players got into double figures as Swardeston won by three wickets, with the key partnership that of 91 between Lewis Denmark (45 from 39 balls)) and Jordan Taylor (39 not out from 53) for the sixth wicket.
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The result maintained Swardeston's 11 point lead over nearest rivals Cambridge Granta, who also won in exciting style, by two wickets at Copdock.
Swardeston completed a great weekend by beating Granta by 107 runs in the ECB National Club Championships.
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Third-placed Saffron Walden romped to an eight-wickets win at Vauxhall Mallards. The home side had a torrid afternoon after being put in, struggling to 147 all out – Tim Smith's 18 overs bringing him three wickets at a total cost of just 16 runs.
Rahul Dewan (46) battled to hold things together after the Ducks slipped to 25 for three and there was some dogged resistance from Joe Larter, who survived 80 balls for his 13 and Brett Stolworthy, whose 22 not out spanned ninth and tenth wicket partnerships with Adam Todd (18) and Martin Addison (a run-a-ball 23) as the tail wagged In response Saffron Walden reached their target before tea in 25.3 overs thanks to captain Giles Ecclestone (47), Glen Batticciotto (44 not out) Simon Parmenter (34 not out).
Horsford were the day's most convincing winners, thrashing Sudbury by ten wickets at Quay Lane to move up to fourth.
Home number seven Jandre Coetzee (69 not out) provided the only serious resistance to a Horsford attack in which Tom Whitehouse (four for 22 from ten overs) and captain Chris Brown (three for 28 from 16) were well back-up by Luke Caswell (one for 39 from 15 overs).
Coetzee helped Sudbury recover from 51 for six to 142 all out, but the target was brushed aside in almost contemptuous style by Horsford, and Matthew Love in particular as he crashed seven sixes and seven fours in his unbeaten 92 off 94 balls. By comparison partner Nathan Perry-Warnes' 43 not out from 90 balls – including eight boundaries – was more low key, but it had the desired effect of helping Horsford over the finishing line in the 31st over.
Elsewhere, a new league record was set by Clacton's Nuwan Jaysena, who took eight for 14 in 12.1 overs in the 139-run win at Bury St Edmunds to beat Luke Caswell's previous best of eight for 16.
And there was some big scoring at Woolpit, who made 300 for seven in a draw against Burwell thanks to big hitting from Andrew Northcote (96) and Craig Rutterford (120).