Sudbury held by Bury, while Frinton go top with win over Mildenhall
- Credit: Archant
Sudbury were held to a ‘frustrating’ draw by West Suffolk rivals Bury St Edmunds in a Reed Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League clash at Friars Street, but it remains very tight at the top end of the table.
Frinton-on-Sea have moved top, thanks to their 32-run victory over Mildenhall on Saturday, nursing a nine-point lead over Swardeston, with defending champions Sudbury just 20 points adrift in third.
So it's all to play for, as the season approaches the half-way stage.
Put into bat, SUDBURY were bowled out for a good total of 280 off 62 overs, initially helped by an opening stand of 40 between Keelan Waldock (12) and skipper Adam Mansfield (25).
Both were bowled by Sean Cooper, who also trapped Ryan Vickery (6) leg before to leave Sudbury on 79 for three.
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Wickets continued to fall at a regular rate, despite 38 from Darren Batch and an impressive 54 from Ben Parker, before an eighth wicket stand of 52 between an in-form Ben Reece (62, off 79 balls) and James Poulson (25) boosted the total late on.
The experienced Cooper took four for 72 off 17 overs, while Daniel Moriarty bowled well later in the innings for figures of 12-5-23-4.
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Bury St Edmunds were always up against it, during their reply, losing early wickets with Johnny Gallagher making the initial breakthrough by trapping Hugo Stanton (5) LBW, and Henry Shipley dismissing Max Whittaker (8) and skipper Ben Seabrook (4).
Opener Justin Broad held up one end, compiling 51 off 118 balls, with Josh Cantrell striking a quick 30, but it was still looking bleak for Bury when Broad was bowled by Shipley (three for 26 off 15 overs) to leave the score on 124 for seven.
However, all-rounder Moriarty ensured a draw with 41 not out, off 80 balls, helped by No. 9 Alastair Allchin (14) as the visitors ended on 173 for eight off their allotted 58 overs.
"Once again, we couldn't quite get over the line," rued Sudbury all-rounder Batch, who is the club captain.
"We fell just short the previous weekend, at Swardeston, and once again this was a frustrating draw. On both occasions we outplayed our opponents by scoring big runs (320 at Swardeston), and neither of them getting anyway near our total.
"But whereas last season we had two of the best spinners in the league, in Tom Huggins and Tim Johnston, this year we are missing them, which means we have not been able to get over the line in certain matches.
"The wet weather has not helped, because the pitch is fairly slow and is not giving the bowlers much assistance.
"But we have still picked up big points in our last two matches, 16 at Swardeston and now 17 against Bury, so it's very close at the top.
"We were happy with our total of 280. We batted pretty well, although we lost a few too many wickets before lunch.
"It was encouraging for Ben Parker to get his first half-century of the summer in the Premier League, while Ben (Reece) has been in a rich vein of form.
"Bury were never going to get close to our total, so it was either going to be a draw or a win for us.
"Now we are looking forward to a match at Mildenhall this Saturday. They beat us twice last season, so it should be interesting," added Batch.
FRINTON-ON-SEA leapfrogged Swardeston to go top of the table, although they had to weather a whirlwind century from Ben Shepperson in their home win over MILDENHALL by 36 runs.
Mildenhall skipper Tom Rash won the toss and elected to field, and their Essex hosts recovered from a poor start to post a challenging total of 251 for seven off 64 overs.
Openers Michael Griggs (2) and Tom Sinclair (10) were bowled by Hugo Douglas and Rash respectively, with the total on 12, before Kyran Young provided some backbone to the innings.
Young made 76, reaching his 50 off 81 balls and putting on 46 for the fifth wicket with skipper Michael Comber (30), before he was the sixth wicket to fall with the score on 159.
Frinton had a sting in the tail, though, Miguel-Angelo Machado (50 not out, off 54 balls) and James Baker (32) adding a vital 66 runs for the seventh wicket.
Mildenhall started well enough in their reply, James Reed (14) and Tristan Blackledge (24) putting on 33 for the first wicket, but the visitors then slumped to 51 for five.
Enter Shepperson and Jack Loveday (36 off 33 balls), and the tide began to turn. It was still looking a hopeless cause on 117 for eight, until Shepperson let rip with Douglas (5 off 40 balls) in quiet support.
Shepperson smashed nine sixes and eight fours in his entertaining 105, off 79 balls, before he was the last man out, caught by Sinclair off Comber to leave Mildenhall 36 runs short on 215 all out off 50.2 overs.
Comber was the chief destroyer, taking six for 25 off 14.2 overs.
Meanwhile, COPDOCK & OLD IPSWICHIAN crashed to a disappointing 72-run defeat at Horsford, after being bowled out for just 84 in 28.1 overs.
Horsford had initially limped along to 54 for five, Matt Hunn having removed both openers Chris Read (2) and Luke Findlay (21).
But a patient sixth wicket partnership of 98 between Jason Reynolds (46 off 145 balls) and skipper Ryan Findlay (55 off 136 balls) enabled Horsford to boost their total to 156 all out.
Chris Swallow took two for 24 off 15.2 overs, and fellow spinner Jack Beaumont contributed two for 41 off 15 overs, but Copdock were soon in difficulties in their reply, losing Ben Claydon to the second ball of the innings.
Thomas Nudd then took over, blasting through the top order as the Suffolk side nosedived to 17 for four and then 36 for five. Nudd claimed figures of 9-2-34-4, and Callum Metcalf weighed in with 7.1-1-9-3. No Copdock batsman reached 20.