Sudbury's promotion hopes are thwarted

Sudbury skipper Steve Witham was left proud of his side's efforts after they narrowly lost out on the chance of promotion to the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League following defeat to Fakenham in the play-off decider on Saturday.

Sudbury skipper Steve Witham was left proud of his side's efforts after they narrowly lost out on the chance of promotion to the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League following defeat to Fakenham in the play-off decider on Saturday.

Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship winners Sudbury posted a decent total of 271 for nine from their 50 overs, but with Sudbury missing injured bowlers John Kent (trapped nerve) and Jamie Grove (achilles), Fakenham reached the target in the 49th over for the loss of just three wickets.

Fakenham's South African professional Michael Smith proved the difference with an impressive 120 not out.

Witham said: “We did all we could, I couldn't have asked anymore. We batted nicely but were just left a bit short bowling wise with Jamie (Grove) and John (Kent) pulling out through injury.


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“We got stuck in early and had them at 50 for two off of about 17 or 18 overs, but their South African (Smith) just played a really good innings.

“That aside I think we would have beaten them, but take nothing away from them, they used their experience and were a real pleasure to play against.

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“It's more frustrating than anything because if we had the XI out there that we have had all year it would have been a very good game.”

Reflecting on his side's title-winning season just a year after they had finished sixth, Witham said: “The key thing for me this year has been building an extremely good team spirit.

“We've also had consistent availability which has helped.”

Elsewhere, Bury St Edmunds were crowned Suffolk Cup champions for the third successive season.

With a team including a number of players from the Suffolk side that had just won the Minor Counties Championship KO Trophy, Bury beat neighbours Mildenhall by 41 runs.

Bury opener Ben France top scored with 89 as the home team posted 268 for five, before the all-rounder took three wickets along with Mark Geeves.

The cup win provided a good end to a disappointing season for Justin Bishop's side, the previous Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League champions having dropped down the table to finish sixth.

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