Swardeston surrender top spot after defeat at Horsford

Phil BanyardGibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League: Horsford's surprise victory against morning leaders Swardeston on Saturday has revealed a chink in Norfolk's dominance of the EAPL.For the first time since the opening day of last season, a club from outside the county holds an outright lead at the top of the league, with Saffron Walden assuming the leadership following their nine-wicket demolition of Clacton.Phil Banyard

Horsford's surprise victory against morning leaders Swardeston on Saturday has revealed a chink in Norfolk's dominance of the EAPL.

For the first time since the opening day of last season, a club from outside the county holds an outright lead at the top of the league, with Saffron Walden assuming the leadership following their nine-wicket demolition of Clacton.

Swardeston were put into bat at Manor Park and an impressive opening burst from Luke Caswell accounted for the visitors' top three.

Peter Lambert dug in for 28 from 71 balls, but fell just before lunch as Swardeston struggled to 64 for five.


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Australian Chris Sabburg then ripped through the lower order, taking five for 34, with only Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas (27) providing much resistance as his side were dismissed for 111.

Horsford openers Nathan Perry-Warnes and Matthew Warnes put on 50, but they fell in successive overs before the hosts slumped to 57 for four.

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Caswell then ensured his bowling effort did not go to waste as he patiently steered Horsford towards victory and with Chris Spenceley (17no) providing support, the hosts reached their target in the 56th over. George Walker was Swardeston's best bowler with three for 35.

Great Witchingham were unable to take full advantage of Swardeston's slip as they batted out for a draw at Cambridge Granta.

The hosts were put into bat and initially struggled, Sam Arthurton's sharp fielding accounting for two run outs to leave Granta on 60 for four. But from there Witchingham's attack were made to suffer as Craig Park (103) and Matthew Friedlander (111) put on 217 for the fifth wicket. Both were eventually dismissed by Carl Rogers, but Granta were able to post a daunting 282 for six.

James Spelman (38) and Rogers (37) gave Witchingham a solid base, but they fell in quick succession and when Witchingham stumbled to 96 for five, it quickly became apparent that a run chase was out of the question.

Simon Chipperfield staved off defeat with an unbeaten 66, including nine fours and a six and Sam Groves defied the Granta attack, taking up 59 balls for his unbeaten three as the visitors closed on 175 for eight.

Norwich's recent revival ground to a halt with an eight-wicket defeat at Burwell.

The visitors were put into bat and openers Sam Noster (43) and Mark Tipping (35) were made to work hard for every run.

Harry Bush (63) then played an anchor role but there was little support from the lower order and Norwich's total of 211 always looked vulnerable. Zimbabwean international Adam Huckle was the pick of the Burwell attack with three for 44.

In reply, Burwell openers Frans Johannes Bester and Andy Knight - brother of former England opener Nick - made batting look easy with a stand of 79. Henry James followed up with 63no and Burwell's other Zimbabwean international, Grant Flower (27no), finished the job as the hosts won in the 51st over.

Fakenham again proved difficult to finish off, but their draw at Vauxhall Mallards was not enough to lift them off the bottom of the table.

Mallards were put into bat and Carl Amos (51) hit his third consecutive league half-century, while New Zealander James Marshall (78) passed 50 for the first time in the EAPL. Rayno Arendse added 50no as the hosts declared on 262 for six, Angus Stuart collecting three wickets.

Wickets fell regularly in the Fakenham reply, but a fifth wicket stand of 70 between Ben Harvey (50) and skipper Sean Cooper (40) allowed the visitors to hold out as they closed on 185 for eight.

Thomas Philip's five wickets could not secure victory for Halstead against Bury, while Clacton collapsed from 35 for one to 49 all out in their loss against Saffron Walden, Tim Smith taking four for eight.

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