Swardeston miss out on EAPL title by one point as Sudbury win final game
to clinch title
Swardeston suffered a heartbreaking near miss in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League on Saturday as their rivals got the victory they needed to finish top.
Leaders Sudbury simply had to win their final fixture against
struggling Norwich to ensure they finished ahead of their long-time
challengers, and they duly made it back-to-back titles by recording an
emphatic 123 run success.
Swardeston fulfilled their part of the
bargain by seeing off Horsford at The Common but they had started the
day one point behind and so, after a gruelling, 22-match campaign, they
missed out by the narrowest of margins possible - despite winning their
last eight games.
The favour required at Friars Street
rarely looked like happening, with Sudbury in command from the word go
against a Norwich side who knew an unlikely win would see them avoid the
end of season play-offs.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Sudbury passed three
figures without loss, with openers Adam Mansfield (108) and Tom Huggins
(76) setting a solid platform that helped them all the way up to 327-6
in their 50 overs.
That was always going to be a tall order for
Ashley Watson’s side and despite a superb effort from opener Jack Newby
they didn’t get anywhere near their target, being bowled out for 200 in
the 38th over.
Newby scored more than half of those runs, with a
sixth ton of the season - an excellent 105 - taking his final tally for
2018 up to 1,233 at an average of over 77.
He had some support
from Will O’Donnell, who made 48 in a second wicket partnership of 92,
but the Watson brothers Ashley (17) and Aaron (15) were the only other
Norwich players to get more than two runs as Sudbury wrapped up the
title with the minimum of fuss.
That result meant Norwich needed
Bury St Edmunds to lose at Frinton to avoiding finishing bottom and
going into the play-offs - and there was no happy ending in that one
In a match played over 40 overs Frinton’s total of 211-6
was made to look distinctly average as Bury openers Hugh Stanton and
Murray Commins knocked off the runs required inside 33 overs.
were also 10 fewer overs, and an early start, at The Common, with
Swardeston travelling up to Derby for the national Twenty20 Finals
immediately after the game.
Led by Mark Thomas in the absence of
the unwell Joe Gatting, the hosts made a solid 250-9 after being asked
to bat first, with opener Jordan Taylor top scoring with 73 and Peter
Lambert (43), Kevin Denmark (42) and Jason Reynolds (35) all making
Stephan Marillier smashed 66 in 54 balls in reply, while Luke Findlay made 56, but Horsford fell well short on 205.
Mallards finished a tough campaign on a high note by picking up the win
they needed to guarantee a place in the EAPL for another season.
bowled out visitors Mildenhall for 191 and then knocked off the runs
required for the loss of just two wickets, with almost 15 overs to
Matthew Austin and Nic Smit both made unbeaten half
centuries for Mallards, while Ben France also passed 50 in an assured
batting display that followed some excellent work with the ball from
Smit (4-29), Adam Todd (2-23) and France 2-36).
were involved in an entertaining mid-table battle at Cambridge Granta
which saw the visitors edged out by five runs.
played a top class innings of 166 not out that contained 27 fours and
two sixes in a Granta total of 297-8. Mallards’ response was a spirted
one but the task proved just beyond them despite good knocks from Mike
Jones (93), James Spelman (59) and Brett Stolowrthy (51).