Vauxhall Mallards beat weather to record opening day win
Vauxhall Mallards set out their stall for the 2012 season with a convincing seven-wicket win at champions Cambridge Granta in the East Anglian Premier League.
It was one of only two positive results on Saturday, with Horsford denied victory by the last wicket pair at Burwell, while Swardeston and Great Witchingham's games were both abandoned without a ball bowled. Saturday's other winners were Copdock & Old Ipswichians, who marked their league debut with an eight-wicket win at Bury.
Mallards won the toss at Granta and after opting to bowl first, soon had the hosts reeling at 18 for four.
Skipper Paul Bradshaw took three of the early wickets, while Martin Addison removed Granta skipper Sean Park.
The wickets continued to tumble and it was only thanks to the efforts of Alex Fullarton (71) that Granta managed to pass three figures.
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He was the last man to go, caught behind off Bradshaw to hand the Mallards captain his sixth victim of the afternoon.
There was also a wicket apiece for debutant pair Christiaan Schoeman and Brett Stolworthy as Granta were rolled out for 122 in the 49th over.
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Mallards' Carl Amos dominated an opening stand of 46 with David Turner before Turner fell for seven and Cei Sanderson was dismissed for two.
Amos fell two short of a half-century, but South African Schoeman fired an unbeaten 45 from 41 balls, including nine fours, and Ali Shearer added 16no as Mallards reached their target in the 32nd over.
Horsford opener Matthew Spenceley registered his maiden EAPL century at Burwell – but the hosts clung on to claim a draw in a shortened encounter.
The visitors lost Matthew Warnes for a duck, but Spenceley was joined by Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh in a profitable second wicket stand.
Mickleburgh was dismissed for 86, but Spenceley batted through the 41-over innings to finish unbeaten on 105 as Horsford posted 202 for two.
Ben Watson claimed two early wickets in the Burwell reply, before Horsford spinners Chris Brown, James Wild and Chris Sabburg took over.
Brown bagged five wickets and there was one apiece for the Australian duo, with Sabburg taking the ninth wicket in the penultimate over of the match.
Despite a half-chance to silly point in the final over, Horsford were unable to secure victory, with Burwell finishing on 92 for nine.
Bury were bowled out for just 57 by Copdock, who completed a comfortable victory and Saffron Walden were 90 for four chasing 136 to win at Sudbury, when rain intervened.
In the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, the only match to start was at Diss, where the hosts reached 138 for four against Sprowston before the game was abandoned. James Wilby hit 65 for Diss.
The only other match to see any play was in Division One at Manor Park, where Bradenham posted 148 for nine against Horsford A.
Mike Taylor (50) and Kevin Stagles (39) put on 100 for the first wicket, before spinner Chris Browne took five for 24 – but the rain once again had the final say.