Clacton cause upset to move off bottom

CLACTON moved off the bottom of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League last weekend with a shock 80-run win over reigning champions Bury St Edmunds.

CLACTON moved off the bottom of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League last weekend with a shock 80-run win over reigning champions Bury St Edmunds.

Bury were at a disadvantage before a ball had even been bowled after a break down in communications meant that they were unaware that Tom Huggins would not be available, the visitors therefore starting with 10 men.

In addition, last year's captain Kevin Brooks, who had only returned from retirement to bolster the side in recent weeks, left his side even shorter in the field after splitting the webbing between his fingers taking a catch in the slips early in the opening innings.

Clacton still had to capitalise though and that they did, Sri Lankan Indika De Saram scoring an impressive 151 as the coastal side declared at 310 for six after 60 overs. In reply, Bury lost Ben France to the first ball before Toby Hembry (68) and Justin Bishop (50) took the score to 120.

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Three quick wickets put Clacton back in control though and, despite pockets of resistance, captain Martin Smith ended up with five for 67 as Bury were all out for 230.

The Suffolk side have now gone seven weeks and five matches without a win, however they are still in with an outside chance of topping the table following Godmanchester's defeat of Swardeston at the weekend.

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Bury St Edmunds vice-captain Andrew Tweedie said: “I think we have drifted a little bit in recent weeks, hoping certain players would do the job and it hasn't happened.

“We were really disappointed at the weekend, but probably didn't play anywhere near our standards.

“Clacton batted pretty well, we didn't have much answer to stopping the runs and in the end we were probably 50 runs off of a score that the bowlers could do something with.

“We missed Tom (Huggins) who, unbeknown to us wasn't available, because he would have been able to take the pace off the ball which would have been vital. Certainly over the past few weeks we have missed having a bit of spin.”

Asked whether the title was now out of their grasp, Tweedie said: “You never know, there is still quite a bit of the season left and I think we can still make a go of it right to the end.”

Elsewhere in the EAPL, second placed Godmanchester beat table-topping Swardeston by 40 runs.

Swardeston looked to be heading towards victory after bowling the hosts out for 122, however Godmanchester skittled out the leaders for just 82 in reply.

Fakenham were the side that replaced Clacton at the bottom of the table following their four wicket defeat to Cambridge Granta, while in the league's other matches, fourth place Vauxhall Mallards kept alive their faint title hopes with a narrow eight run victory over Great Witchingham and Horsford beat Norwich by 144 runs.

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