Swardeston miss out on sixth successive EAPL title as rain has final say
Swardeston's five year reign as East Anglian Premier League champions ended in frustrating fashion on Saturday when they were denied a chance to go for the emphatic win they needed to make it six on the trot.
What should have been a thrilling end to the campaign ended up being a real damp squib as their match against title rivals Sudbury at Friars Street was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The Suffolk side had gone into the match 21 points clear at the top, meaning the visitors needed to win the game while denying the opposition any more than three bonus points to pip them for the silverware.
But the season-long rivals ended up taking seven points each as rain had the final say. After an early lunch had been taken to allow time for a wet outfield to dry out there were hopes of getting in a 32 overs fixture, but the weather then closed in again and the match was abandoned, prompting celebrations in the home dressing room.
Further south at Frinton-on-Sea there were such no problems with the weather and Vauxhall Mallards rounded off their campaign in style with a thumping 230-run win. The visitors responded to the challenge of being asked to bat first in impressive fashion, piling up 320-6 in their 50 overs.
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Mitchell Todd and Ben France set the tone by putting on 134 for the first wicket and when France went for 61 his partner found another willing ally in Matt Plater, with a further 82 being added.
Todd eventually went for 131, having faced just 106 balls, while an unbeaten 39 from Brett Stolworthy helped lift the Mallards's total well over 300.
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Frinton had to go for their shots to stand any chance of winning the game and wickets tumbled on a regular basis, with the Essex side being dismissed in just the 22nd over for 90.
There were three wickets apiece for Neil Clarkson and Adam Todd while Luke Caswell and France took two each.
Horsford ended up finishing bottom - 24 points below Bury St Edmunds - after their derby match at Great Witchingham was washed out. But they already knew their place in the EAPL was secure, with the champions of the three feeder leagues - Downham Town, Ketton and Elmswell - all having decided to stay put.