Bury St Edmunds shock defending champions Swardeston with surprise victory to move off the basement
Bury St Edmunds, having spent virtually the whole season on the bottom rung of the East Anglian Premier League, have clambered off the basement with just four matches remaining.
In one of the biggest shocks of the season, Bury defeated defending champions Swardeston by three wickets at the Victory Ground, so registering only their second win from 18 starts this summer.
Meanwhile, Horsford’s comprehensive defeat by eight wickets, at the hands of Norfolk rivals Norwich, sees them sink to the bottom, four points behind a resurgent Bury.
Horsford have actually won four matches this summer, but their recent 30-point deduction for hosting an unfit pitch against Copdock, could ultimately cost them dear.
Bury have been out-of-sorts for most of the season. With the exception of a solitary win over Norwich (by one wicket on June 24), there only other encouraging display had ironically been a tied match at Swardeston, on June 3.
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Sean Park’s men, seeming to save their best cricket for when they face Swardeston (the current five-times-in-a-row champions), played out of their skins and then kept their cool to deliver a precious 25 points, in their bid to escape relegation.
Swardeston, inserted into bat by Park, had a good start with openers Peter Lambert and Jason Reynolds sharing a half-century opening stand.
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But the experienced Sean Cooper, in harness with skipper Park, put the brakes on with some excellent mid-innings bowling to restrict Swardeston to 200 all out.
Park made the initial breakthrough, having Lambert caught by wicketkeeper James Sturgeon for a brisk 36 off 43 balls, which included a couple of sixes, while Cooper bowled Reynolds (9) and then had Jordan Taylor (15) caught and bowled.
Lewis Denmark top scored with 37 in the middle order, before he became one of spinner Josh Cantrell’s three wickets (9.5-0-39-3). Cooper took three for 28 off his 10 overs and Park two for 40.
In reply, Dominic Manthorpe (44) and Alistair Allchin (37) put on 72 for the second wicket, while West Indian Daron Cruickshank added a swift 44 off 39 balls.
But Bury were still facing the prospect of another defeat, at 161 for seven, until Sturgeon (19no) and Luke Du Plooy (13no) saw them home with an unbroken stand of 40.