Triple woe for Clacton in relegation fight

CLACTON’S chances of avoiding relegation from the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League suffered a triple blow at the weekend.

While Clacton were losing to Great Witchingham by two wickets and picking up just four points in the process, bottom team Norwich had the better of their draw with Halstead and collected 14 points.

But the Essex side are now just 17 ahead of their rivals in distress with four matches remaining after they had eight penalty points deducted.

The punishment relates to the drawn match against Vauxhall Mallards on July 23 which the league ruled was played on a sub-standard pitch at Vista Road after Clacton had failed to cover it overnight and it was rain-affected.

Andy Abbott, the league secretary, said that Clacton did appeal against the decision, but this had been rejected on the grounds of an admission of guilt in the accompanying letter.

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Clacton were undone by Great Witchingham’s Ryan McCone, who took 15.1-4-41-5 as the visitors were bowled out for 142 despite Stefan Gericke’s 49.

Gericke (18-8-31-3), Ben France (17-2-64-3) and Ryan Chamberlain (7-2-11-2) got among the wickets, but Great Witchingham squeezed home by two wickets.

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Halstead dug in to secure a draw at Star Stile after Norwich had compiled 246 for three, Harry Bush scoring 116 not out, in only 50 overs. Freddie Blackwell (40) and Matthew Surry (24) put together an opening partnership of 67 and Bertie Blackwell made an aggressive 58 (five fours and four sixes) off just 42 balls as Halstead ended on 175 for six.

There were good wins for both Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

Bury recovered from a precarious 90 for five to post 197 for seven at home to Horsford thanks to Sasha Ward (29) and Chris Wright (54) who added 67 for the sixth wicket.

Essex bowler Wright (13-2-29-4) and Suffolk all-rounder Tom Huggins (14.4-2-45-5) then combined to skittle Horsford for 142. Bury subsequently had one point deducted for a slow over rate.

Darren Batch struck an unbeaten 83 as Sudbury registered their fifth success of the season, at home to Saffron Walden, by five wickets.

Former England batsman Jason Gallian top-scored with 76 including 12 fours for the visitors in their 196 for eight as Craig Smith claimed 16-1-46-5.

Sudbury were struggling at 55 for four in reply before Batch, whose innings contained 13 fours and a six, was joined at the crease by Nathan Poole, the pair adding 107 for the fifth wicket. Poole contributed 42 before Will Shropshire hurried Sudbury home with 15 off 21 deliveries.

Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League

*Burwell 255 (in 62.1 overs: D Jones 68, G Goosen 54, P Richer 49, F Bester 32, A Todd 5 for 54). Vauxhall Mallards 259 for 8 (in 54.4 overs: G Snyman 114, S Potger 25, P Bradshaw 24no, F Bester 4 for 76). Vauxhall Mallards (25pts) beat Burwell (14 pts) by 2 wkts.

*Bury St Edmunds 197 for 7 (in 57 overs: C Wright 54, S Rees 31, S Ward 29, T Adams 25, T Rash 20no, C Brown 3 for 44). Horsford 142 (in 45.4 overs: C Spenceley 37, R O’Connell 35, T Huggins 5 for 45, C Wright 4 for 29). Bury St Edmunds (30pts) beat Horsford (3pts) by 55 runs. Bury St Edmunds deducted 1 point slow over rate.

Clacton 142 (in 48.1 overs: S Gericke 49, B France 39, C Finney 20, R McCone 5 for 41, J Spelman 3 for 29). *Great Witchingham 143 for 8 (in 51.3 overs: J Spelman 42, Shaun Arthurton 34, S Gericke 3 for 31, B France 3 for 64). Great Witchingham (25pts) beat Clacton (4pts) by 2 wkts.

Norwich 246 for 3 (in 50 overs: H Bush 116no, C Borrett 54, O Higenbottam 23). *Halstead 175 for 6 (in 49 overs: B Blackwell 58, F Blackwell 40, M Surry 24, P Cooper 21). Halstead (6pts) drew with Norwich (14pts).

Saffron Walden 196 for 8 (in 61 overs: J Gallian 76, S Parmenter 42, E Wilson 37, C Smith 5 for 46). *Sudbury 200 for 5 (in 40.4 overs: D Batch 83no, N Poole 42). Sudbury (25pts) beat Saffron Walden (6pts) by 5 wkts.

Cambridge Granta 126 (in 50.3 overs: J Atkinson 42, D Rice 21, G Walker 4 for 35, R Sims 3 for 26). *Swardeston 121 (in 45.4 overs: J Hatwell 57, I Shah 5 for 40, L Hill 3 for 36). Cambridge Granta (30pts) beat Swardeston (5pts) by 5 runs.

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