Vital wins for Mildenhall and Frinton, over Copdock and Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
League leaders Frinton-on-Sea narrowly beat defending champions Sudbury by just four runs, in the fifth round of matches in this season’s East Anglian Premier League.
There was also a vital win for previously winless Mildenhall, who beat hosts Copdock & Old Ipswichian by the convincing margin of 78 runs.
However, there was a defeat for West Suffolk neighbours Bury St Edmunds, whose fine start to the summer was halted by an eight-wicket loss at home to Cambridge.
FRINTON-ON-SEA's visit to 2017 and 2018 champions SUDBURY was always going to be a stern test of the Essex club's own title credentials, and they emerged with flying colours from a thrilling match that went down to the penultimate ball.
Put into bat by Sudbury captain Adam Mansfield, in-form Frinton-on-Sea stuck to their guns to make 210 for six off their 50 overs.
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After losing the wicket of opener Michael Griggs (0) in only the second over of the morning, trapped leg before by Jonathan Gallagher, and then seeing former captain Kyran Young (15) stumped by Mansfield off Tom Huggins with the total on 37 for two, Frinton mounted a recovery.
Wicketkeeper Tom Sinclair made a very patient 32 off 86 balls, before he became the victim of another Mansfield stumping, this time off Ben Reece. Skipper Michael Comber (19) and all-rounder Ashley Watson (6) both fell cheaply, to leave Frinton struggling on 123 for five.
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However, Blaine Bannister ensured that Frinton would post a challenging total by compiling a potentially match-winning 86 not out at No. 4.
Bannister had made 79 not out in Frinton's previous win, at home to Burwell & Exning a fortnight ago - their match against Copdock & OI the following weekend was abandoned without a ball being bowled - and he again batted in dominant fashion with nine fours and a six in his 111-ball stay.
Bannister put on 47 for the sixth wicket with Miguel Machado (21) and then an unbroken stand of 40 with James Baker (22no).
Sudbury suffered a big blow at the start of their reply, losing the influential Huggins to the third ball. Huggins was dismissed leg before by Comber for a duck.
Mansfield (16) was caught by Baker off Young, to leave the hosts on 26 for two, before Darren Batch (72) and Ryan Vickery (26) put on 47 for the third wicket.
The departures of Vickery and Henry Shipley (first ball) in quick succession left Sudbury on 75 for four, but Batch remained to partner Moulton-Day (21) and Reece (12) until he was seventh out with the score on 164, having faced 119 balls for his 72.
All of Sudbury's hopes were then pinned on James Poulson, who almost guided his side to victory. Poulson moved the score on to 198 with Alex Quin, before the latter was caught by Ollie Bocking off Baker.
The 200 was reached with nine balls and two wickets remaining, so leaving 11 runs for victory.
Baker then bowled Patrick Sadler, and Poulson had raced to 39 off 40 balls until his bid for victory was ended, caught by Comber off Young on the penultimate ball to leave Sudbury five runs short of their target.
Young finished with figures of 8.5-0-39-3, while Baker took three for 12 off four overs at the end.
Sudbury's top scorer Batch, who is also the club captain, explained: "Frinton batted steadily during their innings, with a boost at the end, but we were satisfied that we could get the runs.
"Losing Tom (Huggins) so early on did not help us, and we had to rebuild. We were in a fair position with 15 overs to go, but I got out when we needed another 40 runs or so, which set us back a bit.
"James Poulson nearly did it for us. We needed 11 off the final over, and he hit a four and a two, with a couple of dot balls, before he was caught at mid-off.
"We only lost four matches throughout last season, and yet we have already lost two this season with an abandoned game against Vauhxall Mallards, so we have to play some positive cricket for the rest of the summer and look for the wins," added Batch.
Meanwhile, MILDENHALL clambered off the basement by recording their first win of the season, away at COPDOCK & OI, by 78 runs.
Mildenhall's top five batsmen all made double figures, led by Ollie Lovejoy (59) and Ankit Sharma (30), who added 56 for the fourth wicket, after being put into bat by Copdock skipper Chris Swallow.
The visitors were pegged back to 212 for nine off their 50 overs, Swallow taking one for 27 off his 10 overs, supported by Jack Beaumont (10-1-39-3) and Fergus Atkins (12-0-47-2).
Beaumont made 54 in Copdock's reply, but opener Donald Mlambo (15) and No. 8 Arthur Phoenix (14) were the only others to reach double figures as Copdock were dismissed for 134 in 40.5 overs.
Hugo Douglas and Sharma took four wickets apiece. Opening bowler Douglas (8-1-26-4), playing against his old club, did the early damage, while Indian left-arm spinner Sharma (9.5-1-24-4) accounted for the lower order.
Mildenhall skipper Rash said: "We felt we were 20 runs light, with batsmen making mistakes.
"But Hugo (Douglas) knows this pitch very well and bowled well up the hill, while Sharma has finally warmed up now and is a very dangerous bowler. We finally have some momentum."
BURY ST EDMUNDS, who had won two of their first four games, were well beaten by eight wickets, at home to Cambridge.
Having lost a vital toss, Bury were skittled out for just 111 in 34.3 overs, with only skipper Ben Seabrook offering any real resistance with 35 at No. 4.
The hosts lost their last seven wickets for just 35 runs, after Seabrook and Daniel Moriarty (9) had put on 45 for the fourth wicket. Seabrook was one of Kieren Mackenzie's five victims.
Douglas Rice (17) and Mackenzie (37) shared an opening stand of 74 to ensure Cambridge eased home, knocking off the runs in 21.3 overs for the loss of two wickets.