Top-scorer Dudley Spiers almost did not qualify to play for Woolpit

WOOLPIT had to double check that Dudley Spiers was eligible to play in Saturday’s play-off which saw them promoted to the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

Spiers scored 97 in his side’s 245 for nine, and then caught visiting captain Chris Borrett as Norwich were dismissed for 240 to lose by five runs.

The 21-year-old had only played a handful of matches for Woolpit in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship this season and had not previously passed fifty.

Woolpit skipper Mike Jones said: “We actually had to get clearance for Dudley to play. We were not sure he was eligible, so we had to double check with the league, to be certain he had played the required minimum number of league games.

“He played an absolutely fantastic innings just when we needed it.”


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Spiers, who used to attend The Perse School in Cambridge said: “I had hardly played cricket for four years due to a string of summer jobs. I played a few Sunday games for Woolpit this season before getting into the first team.”

Spiers, who came to the wicket at 47 for three, scored his 97 off 108 deliveries with ten fours and two sixes.

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“I wasn’t playing very well early on – my first two runs came off 20 balls – but improved the longer my innings went on, although I was dropped on 67.

“It was a pretty decent ball which got me out, but while I was disappointed not to score a century, I would rather us win than me get a hundred,” he said.

Despite the 10.30am start Woolpit batted first as they have done all season after winning the toss. When the prolific Jones fell at 47 for three Norwich appeared to be on top.

Andy Northcote and Spiers took the Woolpit score to 134 before Northcote was dismissed for 62, and Spiers lost his next two partners fairly quickly to leave Woolpit wobbling at 162 for six.

However, Spiers’ scoring continued to accelerate and although Matt Collinge was run out off the penultimate ball, Barry Collins hit the final delivery for a crucial four.

Solid batting by Nathan Shearer, Frankie Sutton, Ashley Watson and Chris Borrett put the visitors on top until Borrett holed out on the boundary off the bowling of Tom Whiteman and Ashley Watson was caught in the same over attempting a rash shot.

The visitors required six runs an over in an increasingly tense atmosphere in front of 200 spectators. Norwich, for whom ex-Norwich City striker Chris Sutton scored 32, kept up with the run rate, but lost wickets regularly until at the start of the last over 10 runs were needed with only one wicket remaining.

Will Parker’s first ball was smashed to the boundary by Siyaz Siyath, but Woolpit’s dismay turned to delight and huge celebrations as Parker’s next ball sent the off stump cartwheeling out of the ground.

Play-off scoreboard

Woolpit won by five runs.

Woolpit

W Parker lbw b Aaron Watson 10

C Rutterford c F Sutton b Borrett 0

A Northcote c Aaron Watson b Borrett 62

M Jones c Blake b Borrett 17

D Spiers b Aaron Watson 97

D Crame c C Sutton b Wiseman 9

O Whiteman c Blake b Wiseman 0

T Whiteman st Blake b Ashley Watson 25

M Collinge run out 2

A Starling not out 1

B Collins not out 4

Extras 18

Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 245

Fall: 1-12, 2-16, 3-47, 4-134, 5-160,6-162, 7-232, 8-239, 9-241.

Bowling: Aaron Watson 10-0-57-2; Borrett 10-4-31-3; Ashley Watson 10-0-44-1; Wiseman 10-0-50-2; Flanagan 10-0-51-0.

Norwich

N Shearer b Northcote 39

Aaron Watson c Collinge b Collins 1

F Sutton b Jones 42

Ashley Watson c Jones b T Whiteman 40

C Borrett c Spiers b T Whiteman 24

C Sutton c Parker b Northcote 32

A Horsley c Crame b Jones 18

B Flanagan c O Whiteman b Northcote 16

J Blake lbw b Jones 14

Siyaz Siyath b Parker 7

P Wiseman not out 1

Extras 6

Total (49.2 overs) 240

Fall: 1-9, 2-80, 3-92, 4-152, 5-152, 6-179, 7-212, 8-227, 9-234, 10-240.

Bowling: Collins 10-0-36-1; Parker 8.2-0-47-1; Rutterford 5-0-35-0; Jones 10-0-39-3; Northcote 10-1-52-3; T Whiteman 6-0-30-2.

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