Spatcher saves Halstead from defeat

A REMARKABLE effort by Matt Spatcher saved Halstead from a fifth successive defeat in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League on Saturday.

The Halstead batting has been far too fragile so far this season, with a series of low totals. At home to Essex rivals Clacton on Saturday they faced a daunting total of 255 for two from just 51 overs.

But Spatcher, opening the innings, provided a one-man barrier as Clacton strove for a win to move into the middle of the table.

Spatcher scored an unbeaten 161, facing 172 deliveries and hitting 20 fours and a six. At the other end, seven wickets fell for a combined total of just 55 – but that was good enough to claim a draw and eight valuable points.

Earlier Ben France had scored an unbeaten century for Clacton, sharing a partnership of 177 for the second wicket with Martyn Cull (72). Michael Comber then thrashed 44 not out from 22 deliveries, with three sixes and as many fours.

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Sudbury, meanwhile, scored an important win over bottom team Norwich.

Prior to Sudbury’s entry to the league it was considered that the small straight boundaries and good batting wicket would lead to big scores at Friars Street. In fact there have been a series of low scores – Halstead made 116 (and won!) and Sudbury were dismissed for the same total by Bury.

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On Saturday Norwich were dismissed for 124 in 30.2 overs, with Jonny Gallagher (three for 28), Matt Hunn (three for 33) and Kandage Fernando (three for 46) doing the damage.

In reply Sudbury made a poor start with both openers back in the pavilion and just nine on the board. Then skipper Darren Batch (58) and young James Poulson (27) added 77.

After a slight wobble while five more wickets fell, Sri Lankan Fernando saw Sudbury home with an unbeaten 23.

Bury St Edmunds lost their unbeaten record at home to Saffron Walden.

All went well as the visitors were reduced to 54 for seven. Then Tim Smith hit out for an unbeaten 76 that took Saffron Walden to 180 all out, Justin Bishop finishing with five for 45 and Simon Rees three for 26.

Bury’s reply never really got going despite the efforts of Tom Huggins (22) and Rees (49) and the other batsmen found runs hard to come by. From 39 without loss the innings slumped to 113 all out and defeat by 67 runs.

Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League

Saffron Walden 180 (57 overs: T Smith 76, J Rodgers 33, G Ecclestone 26, J Bishop 5 for 45, T Rash 3 for 26). *Bury St Edmunds 113 (51.2 overs: S Rees 49, T Huggins 22, A Laws 3 for 20, D Cousins 3 for 39). Saffron Walden (30pts) bt Bury St Edmunds (5) by 67 runs.

Burwell v Horsford cancelled (7pts each).

*Great Witchingham 233 for 9 (66 overs: S Arthurton Snr 66no, S Arthurton Jnr 58, J Coleman 4 for 23). Cambridge Granta 126 (52.3 overs: R McCone 4 for 57). Gt Witchingham (30) bt Granta (4) by 97 runs.

Clacton 255 for 2 dec (51 overs: B France 106no, M Cull 72, M Comber 44no). *Halstead 235 for 7 (64 overs: M Spatcher 161no, T Philp 28). Halstead (8) drew with Clacton (16).

Norwich 124 (30.2 overs: C Borrett 41, B Wright 34, J Gallagher 3 for 28, M Hunn 3 for 33, K Fernando 3 for 46). *Sudbury 125 for 7 (38.4 overs: D Batch 58, J Poulson 27, K Fernando 23no, B Flanagan 3 for 18, Ash Watson 3 for 34). Sudbury (25) bt Norwich (3) by 3 wkts.

*Swardeston 223 (59 overs: J Abraham 68, R Moores 4 for 55). Vauxhall Mallards 181 for 7 (61 overs: D Turner 71). Swardeston (12) drew with Vauxhall Mallards (10).

* Denotes home team.

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