Broad hits ton and Allchin takes six wickets in Bury St Edmunds’ win over Saffron Walden

Bury St Edmund skipper Sean Park, who made a quick 57 not out in his side's exciting win over Saffro

Bury St Edmund skipper Sean Park, who made a quick 57 not out in his side's exciting win over Saffron Walden. Picture: APRIL URQUHART - Credit: Archant

An exciting weekend in the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League saw superb wins for local clubs Bury St Edmunds, Copdock & Old Ipswichian and leaders Frinton-on-Sea, while Mildenhall held defending champions Sudbury to a draw.

Australian Cameron Valente, bowling on his home debut for Copdock & Ol. Valente went on to score 58

Australian Cameron Valente, bowling on his home debut for Copdock & Ol. Valente went on to score 58 off 61 balls in Copdocks three-wicket win. Picture: NICK GARNHAM - Credit: Archant

A rejuvenated BURY ST EDMUNDS, so used to being embroiled in desperate struggles to avoid relegation in recent seasons, soared to fourth in the table following a 31-run victory over Saffron Walden at the Victory Ground on Saturday.

Justin Broad provided the backbone of Bury's 280 for seven, off 64 overs, scoring a superb 125 at the top of the innings, before Alastair Allchin weighed in with excellent figures of 18-2-55-6 to bowl out Saffron Walden for 249 off 55 overs.

Teenager Broad struck 16 boundaries in his 177-ball stay, reaching his 100 off 157 balls in just over three hours.

The 18-year-old South African is a new recruit to Bury this summer (from Cape Town), with the long-term aim of hoping to improve his chances of securing a contract with one of the first class counties.

Jack Beaumont, in action during Copdock & OI's win over Vauxhall Mallards.Beaumont took four for 48.

Jack Beaumont, in action during Copdock & OI's win over Vauxhall Mallards.Beaumont took four for 48. Picture; NICK GARNHAM - Credit: Archant

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Broad was eventually the sixth wicket to fall, with the total on 233, but skipper Sean Park ensured that Saffron Walden would face an even bigger target by racing to 57 not out off just 55 balls at the end of the innings, reaching his half-century off 49 deliveries.

Allchin bowled superbly at the start of Saffron Walden's reply, taking the first four wickets as the visitors slipped to 70 for four.

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But instead of opting to play for a draw, they went on the attack with captain Benjamin Harris (71 off 41 balls) and Finn Karsten (51) putting on 109 for the fifth wicket. Harris raced to his half-century off 22 balls and in all hit five sixes.

Suffolk bowler Josh Cantrell came in for some particularly rough treatment, so it was very satisfying that he should help to dismiss the destructive Harris with a fine diving catch, running in 25 yards from long on, off the bowling of Daniel Moriarty.

In fact, Bury's fielding was excellent, with Ben Curran (at square leg to remove overseas player Regis Chakabva), Broad (2) and Max Whittaker also taking good catches.

Saffron Walden still looked the likely winners at 237 for six, requiring 44 runs off seven overs.

But Broad then caught Joe Barrs (29) off Allchin and, with just one over remaining, skipper Park won the game by bowling No. 11 Alex Hancock.

Moriarty gave Allchin great support with three for 60 off 15 overs.

"It was a very good game of cricket, between two very competitive teams," explained Bury captain Park.

"Justin (Broad) batted very well, and was very patient. He played to his strengths and knuckled down. It was a very mature innings from such a young man.

"Alastair (Allchin) then bowled in the right areas and got the ball to swing, although we were sweating when their skipper (Harris) started striking the ball to all parts of the ground.

"In the end, we took some good catches, to close out the win.

"It's very much a confidence thing, which has been growing throughout the season. More players are contributing to the cause, whereas in previous seasons we were relying on one or two individuals to get us out of trouble.

"We are up to fourth, and it is certainly a better feeling than being at the bottom wondering where your first win is going to come from," added Park.

At this stage of the season last year, Bury were 36 points adrift at the bottom of the table, but ended up claiming six wins from their last seven fixtures to stay up.

This season they have already almost doubled their points tally.

Meanwhile, FRINTON eased to their eighth win from 11 games, with a six-wicket success at second-from-bottom Cambridge.

Summer recruit Ollie Bocking (13.3-2-45-5) did the early damage, supported by Dulanjala Mendis (three for 30) and Ashley Watson (two for 33), as Cambridge were bowled out for 131.

Peter Younghusband responded by taking four for 57 in Frinton's reply, but Michael Comber's side eased over the line in the 55th over, thanks to Kyran Young (a patient 47 not out, off 106 balls) and Watson (26no).

SUDBURY were thwarted by a stubborn last wicket stand in their drawn match at Mildenhall, after James Poulson had hit 99 in Sudbury's total of 234 for nine off 64 overs.

Poulson put on 92 for the third wicket with Ryan Vickery (46, off 100 balls) to lift the total up to 119, but the opener eventually fell just one short of his century, a victim of Murtaza Hussain (18-3-46-2).

Sudbury looked odds-on for victory, when reducing Mildenhall to 139 for nine, Darren Batch (6-1-14-3) taking the important wickets of Ankit Sharma (29) and Ben Shepperson (38).

However the last two batsmen stood firm, wicketkeeper Edward Finnis (24 not out) and Hussain (2no, off 30 balls), nursing Mildenhall to an unlikely draw at the end of 57 overs.

COPDOCK & OLD IPSWICHIAN beat bottom club Vauxhall Mallards by three wickets at Old London Road, despite a century from Johnathan Dalton (109) in the visitors' total of 227 all out.

Spinner Jack Beaumont was the pick of the bowlers with fine figures of 18.1-4-48-4, including the wicket of Dalton (fifth out with the score on 168). Captain and fellow spinner Chris Swallow also impressed with figures of 16.1-6-23-2.

Copdock's reply was boosted by an eye-catching home debut innings from Cameron Valente.

The dominant Valente, a 24-year-old hard-hitting batsman (and also right-arm fast bowler) struck 58 off 61 balls at No.3. The South Australian all-rounder has joined Copdock until August 17.

Copdock were in danger of defeat, when slumping to 138 for seven (Nathan Scarff also retired hurt), but an unbroken stand between young Donald Mlambo (41 not out) and fast bowler Matt Hunn (44no) saw the hosts to victory at the end of the 52nd over.

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