Michael Griggs scores 99 but rain denies Frinton a chance of victory over lowly Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Archant
Frinton’s high hopes of victory, over bottom club Bury St Edmunds, were dashed by the wet weather at Ashylns Road in a Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League clash on Saturday.
Hosts Frinton fancied their chances of a seventh win of the season, when powering to a daunting total of 298 for three declared off 45 overs.
Bury had progressed to a swift 79 for two, off 14 overs, losing their second wicket before the rain intervened to force an abandonment.
Saturday’s unsatisfactory draw left Frinton with 14 points, and Bury seven. The Essex club remain well-placed in fourth spot, while Bury stay deep in trouble at the foot of the table, embroiled in yet another relegation battle .
That has been the story of Bury’s last few seasons, although they have always managed to plot their escape from the bottom rung. Whether they manage to repeat the feat this season remains to be seen.
It was the second time in successive weeks that Frinton’s fixture had been abandoned as a draw, with the Essex team in a good position – the previous weekend, their game against high-flying Great Witchingham had ended prematurely in a draw, with the hosts struggling on 68 for three in the unlikely pursuit of 265 for victory.
Four substantial contributions with the bat enabled Frinton to power to within two runs of the 300-mark, off a mere 45 overs, on Saturday.
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Michael Griggs had scored a century a fortnight earlier, in the home win over Cambridge Granta, and he again dazzled with an excellent 99 at the top of the innings, against Bury’s rather tame attack.
Griggs shared an opening partnership of 136 with Michael Comber, who was playing against his old club – the ex-Essex all-rounder was Bury’s skipper last year. Free-scoring Comber blasted 60 off 66 balls, with two sixes and seven fours, before he was caught by Dominic Manthorpe off Josh Cantrell.
But that was only an isolated success for Bury, as Griggs then found good support from Mervyn Westfield in a stand worth 62 for the second wicket.
Opener Griggs was finally dismissed, one short of a second century of the summer, trapped leg before by West Indian Daron Cruickshank. He struck a couple of sixes and 16 boundaries in his 106-ball stay.
Kemar Smith (8) soon followed, caught by young Alfie Marston off spinner James McKinney, but Westfield and captain Kyran Young then upped the tempo with a quickfire unbeaten partnership of 75.
Westfield finished on 81 not out, off 71 deliveries (including three sixes), while Young’s rapid 44 not out came off a mere 16 balls, with four sixes and four fours.
All of Bury’s bowlers were costly, Cruickshank’s 17 overs going for 102 runs, while McKinney’s wicket came at a cost of 48 runs in five overs.
Bury have only mustered one victory all season, from 15 fixtures, and are now a distant 39 points adrift of second-from-bottom Norwich, and 45 behind third-from-bottom Burwell.
They lost Ben Curran (6) early on in their reply, caught by Smith off Westfield, before Manthorpe (32 not out) and Alistair Alchin (34) put on a swift 60 for the second wicket.
Pace-man Westfield had Allchin caught by wicketkeeper Thomas Benn, but that proved to be the last of the action.
Bury will probably have to win four of their last seven matches, to stand a good chance of avoiding relegation, but they should be boosted by the return of their captain, Sean Park, who has missed the last couple of matches due to work commitments with his school – he has been on a tour of his native South Africa with the school team.
This Saturday, Bury face a crunch West Suffolk derby against Mildenhall, at the Victory Ground.
Bury really need to win this game, and gain revenge for their defeat at Mildenhall in a 50-overs-a-side match in May.
Meanwhile, Copdock & Old Ipswichian’s match away at Horsford was abandoned without a ball being bowled at Manor Park. Both teams therefore received seven points.
Copdock face a tough match at home to Frinton this Saturday in a battle of two top-six clubs. If the Suffolk side want to overhaul fourth-placed Frinton, then this weekend represents a good chance to make inroads into a 31-point deficit.
Elsewhere, leaders Sudbury will have to be at their very best to overcome third-placed Great Witchingham, in Norfolk.
Chasing Swardeston, who are gunning for a sixth title on the trot, are also on their travels away at fifth-placed Cambridge Granta.