Swardeston claim fourth straight win to move joint top of EAPL
Swardeston surged to the top of the East Anglian Premier League on Saturday after making it four wins on the trot.
With the quarter point of the season fast approaching Joe Gatting’s
in-form side are level with defending champions Sudbury following their
six wicket home win over Burwell and Exning.
The runs flowed on a glorious day at The Common, with an
amazing 73 boundaries being struck, and it was Swardeston who scored at a
quicker rate to get home with plenty of overs in hand.
Gatting asked the visitors to bat first after
winning the toss and they performed well to set what looked like a
challenging total of 271-7, with Tyron Koen making an unbeaten 100 as
Tom Oxley (4-58) and Joe Flatt (3-50) did their best to stem the flow.
After the early loss of Jordan Taylor Swardeston then took a firm
grip on proceedings and Jason Reynolds (76), Stephen Gray (34), Gatting
(67) and Peter Lambert (71 not out) all played important roles to see
their side home. All scored at a brisk rate, particularly Lambert who
only faced 40 balls and hit nine fours and three sixes.
Sudbury, who edged Swardeston into second place last
season, got their campaign back on track after a heavy home defeat at
the hands of Horsford when they won by 170 runs at Great Witchingham.
The Suffolk side posted a formidable total of 319 at Walcis
Park, with Tom Huggins making 98 and Darren Batch 74 and Tom Collishaw
taking 5-76 for the hosts.
It soon became clear that the Witches’ only hope of getting
something out of the game was to shut up shop and to their credit they
almost pulled it off. Murray Breetze’s 35 was the top score but there
was plenty of resistance, personified by Sam Groves’ one not out in 38
balls. The hosts got close to saving the game but ended up being
dismissed in the penultimate over for 149.
Vauxhall Mallards also faced an uphill struggle against
Frinton at Halvergate but they managed to emerge with a draw. Former
Norfolk player Jaik Mickleburgh turned on the style to make 101 for the
Essex side as they reached 276-6 in 64 overs.
Mallards’ reply started in encouraging fashion, with Matt
Plater (44) and youngster Hudson de Lucchi (45) putting on 91 for the
first wicket, but they found it tough to keep up with the required run
rate and when the wickets started to full it was case of making sure
defeat was avoided.
The hosts dug in well, with Harry Williams’ nine off 63
balls summing up their determination, and when stumps were drawn the
scoreboard read 165-7.
Norwich are still bottom of the EAPL - but they had something to smile about at last at the weekend.
Having suffered four straight defeats Ashley Watson’s side
gave as good as they got against an in-form Horsford outfit to come away
with a draw and 13 much needed points.
The hosts took advantage of excellent batting conditions to
get up to 276 before being dismissed in their final over. Chad Bowes
led the way by blasting 91 in just 79 balls, with 12 fours and two sixes
while Will Rogers (50) and Stephan Marillier (46) also enjoyed
themselves in the Manor Park sunshine.
It didn’t look good for Norwich when they slipped to 12-2
in reply, but Jack Newby (87) and Watson (111 not out) led the recovery,
putting on 145 for the third wicket to make a real game of it. The
result was in the balance again when the visitors went from 157-2 to
175-6 but Watson found a new ally in Jason Blake (38 not out) and they
were on 251-6 when time ran out, just 26 runs short of their target.
Chris Brown took 4-55 for Horsford.