Sudbury go top after Copdock slip up

SUDBURY moved top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One table last Saturday after Copdock & OI slipped up at Halstead.Copdock started the weekend 1.

SUDBURY moved top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One table last Saturday after Copdock & OI slipped up at Halstead.

Copdock started the weekend 1.05 points clear of Sudbury in the averages, but an eight-wicket defeat for the Ipswich side against Halstead, combined with a win by the same margin for Sudbury at Mildenhall, has put Sudbury in the hot seat.

Batting first, Mildenhall collapsed from 130 for one to 170 all out as Andy Simmons and John Kent took four and three wickets respectively.

Sudbury knocked off the runs for just two wickets in reply, John Kent's unbeaten 80 ably supported by Jay Phillips (40) and Jeff Hurrell (35no).

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Sudbury captain Steve Witham refused to get too excited after his side's dream weekend though. He said: “We did all right, to be fair. We stuck at it, kept our standards and put pressure on at the right times.”

Many people's thoughts are now turning to a mouth watering end-of-season face-off between Sudbury and Copdock, however both sides have one more tricky game before then.

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While Copdock face an Ipswich & ES side fighting for their lives, Sudbury take on reigning champions Halstead.

Witham said: “Halstead is always a hard game so we are taking it one at a time at the moment. Whatever happens, we will be delighted with our performance this year.

“At the start of the season we were looking at a tough league and, like a lot of teams, we were probably thinking we would be happy just to stay up.

“I think the big thing for us has been consistency, we have only used 13 players.”

If Sudbury were to win the league, Witham has confirmed that Sudbury, like Copdock, would contest a promotion/relegation play-off match.

Elsewhere, Ipswich & ES kept alive their hopes of staying up with a vital win against bottom club Brightlingsea. Batting first, IES scored 256 for eight as Rob Glassford completed an impressive half-century. The Ipswich side, who have won their last two matches, then bowled the hosts out 75 runs short in reply.

Brightlingsea are now relegated, while the other relegation place is to be contested between IES, Maldon and Mistley.

In Division Two, Wivenhoe and Abberton are assured of promotion, with the title looking destined to go to Wivenhoe after Abberton lost a thriller at Elmstead Grasshoppers by one wicket.

Bury St Edmunds II and Woodbridge & OWs will battle it out to avoid following the already-relegated East Bergholt down.

In Division Four, 16-year-old Worlington opener Graham Ford scored his fourth consecutive half-century with an unbeaten 67 against Braintree.

Previously the St Joseph's College pupil had scored 53 against Felixstowe, 56 against Frinton II and 57 not out against Clacton II.

There were further top teenage performances lower down the league. In Division Six 16-year-old Stuart Johnson took eight for 19 in just 6.5 overs for Kelvedon & Feering II as they defeated Bury St. Edmunds III, while in Division C 14-year-old Scott Harvey scored 137 not out for Copdock & OI III against Wivenhoe. Harvey, also a St Joseph's College pupil, has been scoring well for Copdock's second team this season.

Further down, in Division Eight, an incredible scenario unfurled at Dedham, where the host side walked off with the match finely balanced following alleged foul and abusive language from St Margarets II player Mark Sproats.

St Margarets president Ian Booth said: “We are looking into the incident as a club. Unfortunately we had already had an incident with Mark earlier this year and we cannot condone this behaviour, it is very sad it has come to this.

“I have played in the Two Counties for 33 years and have never known a side to walk off like that.

“I would like to say though that previously we have always had a good record and as founder members of the league we are quite proud of that.

“We are taking this very seriously as a club and I am sure that once we have dealt with the incident then the league will also step in.”

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