Sudbury closing in on Two Counties title

SUDBURY require just eight points from their match against Copdock & OIs this Saturday to clinch the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One title.

SUDBURY require just eight points from their match against Copdock & OIs this Saturday to clinch the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One title.

Copdock & OIs' title aspirations were dealt a huge blow when an Ipswich & East Suffolk side fighting for their Division One lives beat them by two wickets. Meanwhile, Sudbury marched on, beating Halstead by nine wickets.

Defeat left a bad taste in the Copdock mouths though, their players feeling that the IES pitch was unplayable.

IES put Copdock into bat first and the ball was soon rearing up off a wicket that had been covered for most of the week.

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After Copdock lost Tom Jenkin and Chris Jervis to balls that bounced high off a length, Chris Swallow was hit in the grille and the thumb in consecutive overs before the Suffolk player hit out.

Copdock eventually posted 163 for nine, but despite Swallow taking five for 72 in the hosts' innings, IES reached the target with two balls to spare for the loss of eight wickets.

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Copdock vice-captain James East said: “It was an awful wicket, truly awful. We are just a bit disappointed to have worked so hard all year and then come to the second-bottom team in the league and lose the toss and get beaten on a wicket like that.”

Ipswich & ES secretary David Little said: “It was important that we won the toss because the pitch was fairly sporting early on but it did settle down later.

“It was just one of those things though. Because of the weather we have had this summer none of the wickets have been brilliant this season.

“I think you have to take the rough with the smooth if you want to win the league. Batsmen want to play on a perfect wicket every week, but that is just not possible.”

The result also means that IES, who have now won their last three games, need 11 points (if Mistley gain the maximum haul of 20 points from their game at Mildenhall) from their final match at Frinton on Saturday to ensure safety.

IES captain Gavin Driver said: “I think it is fair to say that the wicket did play a few tricks early on but, although it got better, it never completely flattened out.”

Reflecting on his side's spectacular turnaround in form, Driver said: “After the Mistley game we all got together and I told a few home truths.

“In some ways, if I'm being honest, we had resigned ourselves to relegation at that point and I think that lifted the pressure a bit.

“It's going to be a really tough game on Saturday but we have beaten Halstead and Copdock now so we have got every chance of beating Frinton.”

Looking ahead to their game with Sudbury, Copdock's East said: “It is quite difficult to lose and get eight points, so we have still got a chance.

“After last weekend everyone was really, really disappointed and it will be particularly hard to pick the younger ones up again, so we are holding a club night in the week to stress the importance of this last game.”

Elsewhere in Division One, Frinton beat relegated Brightlingsea by six wickets, Coggeshall beat Mildenhall by 20 runs, while Maldon beat Mistley by five wickets.

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