Mildenhall miss chance to leapfrog leaders Sudbury in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship

Mildenhall's Ben Shepperson

Mildenhall's Ben Shepperson

Mildenhall missed the chance to leapfrog leaders Sudbury, and so top the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship, when suffering a five-wicket defeat to Witham on Saturday.

Hosts Witham were fresh from inflicting a first defeat of the season on Sudbury the previous weekend, thanks to a sensational century (175) from Leroy Facey.

The hard-hitting Facey could only manage one run this time around, but Witham still eased past Mildenhall’s total of 196 for seven, accrued off 45 overs.

Mildenhall had suffered an early setback when Peter Worthington, drafted into the team to replace the injured coach, Steve Taylor, edged his first ball to wicket-keeper Dan Ward off Paul Bellehewe.

Joe Reed was joined by Matt Allen, and the youngster supported the more forceful Reed in compiling a half-century partnership, before Allen was bowled by Cody Mcdonald for 13.

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Visiting captain, Ben Shepperson, went in at No. 4 to support Reed, the pair seeing the total past the 100-mark. However, a potential increase in the run-rate was thwarted by Reed’s dismissal for 75, the score on 124.

One run later and Shepperson (30) fell lbw to Witham captain Jake Wakelin. Tom Allen did contribute an unbeaten 44 later in the innings, to leave Mildenhall four short of 200.

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Wakelin soon took charge in Witham’s reply as the captain raced to 50 in just eight overs, with nine fours and two sixes.

In fact, Witham punished all the visitors’ bowlers, getting 100 on the board in the 13th over. An opening stand of 105, between Wakelin (70) and Kaan Hawes (50) was finally ended when Reed finally trapped Wakelin stumped by wicket-keeper Holmes.

Mildenhall then had a purple patch, which included the wicket of Facey, but Rich Green (21 not out), Simon Jones (14) and James Suett (22 not out) saw the Essex club home inside 38 overs.

Ironically, Mildenhall finished with six points, which was the same number they would have been awarded if the match had been lost to the weather. It was only their second defeat.

Witham are in third, within striking distance of Sudbury, whose match at Worlington was abandoned.

Elsewhere, a fine 133 by Shane Moseley helped Frinton 2nds to a 47-run win over Maldon. Dean Robinson also scored a hundred in Wivenhoe’s win over Mistley.

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