Woolpit and Bury both draw

Barry Collins bowling for Woolpit, against Copdock & Old Ipswichian on Saturday

Barry Collins bowling for Woolpit, against Copdock & Old Ipswichian on Saturday - Credit: Archant

Woolpit held on for a draw against Suffolk rivals Copdock & Old Ipswichian, thanks to the last pair of James Firth and Barry Collins, in Saturday’s Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League clash.

Martyn Cull batting for Copdock at Woolpit's scenic ground

Martyn Cull batting for Copdock at Woolpit's scenic ground - Credit: Archant

And bottom club Bury St Edmunds also earned only their second draw of the season, at Great Witchingham.

Half-centuries by Suffolk county players Martyn Cull and Chris Swallow had been the backbone of Copdock & Old Ipswichian’s total of 228 for six, at Woolpit, aided by a late flurry from James East.

Woolpit were on course for a winning reply, following a century opening stand between Andrew Northcote and Will Parker, but wickets then fell in a flurry and the hosts were left hanging on for a draw.

A patient 58 from Cull, off 148 deliveries, gave the visitors a platform, but they looked vulnerable when Adrian Nel’s dismissal left them on 143 for six.

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However, an unbeaten 85-run partnership between Swallow and East ensured Woolpit’s target for victory was a challenging one. Swallow hit a couple of sixes in his knock of 53, while East kept the scoreboard ticking over at a brisk rate.

Woolpit, despite failing to win any of their first eight league games, have settled in well in the East Anglian Premier League, following last year’s promotion.

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In fact, they have only lost two of these eight fixtures, although a third reverse seemed likely following Saturday’s collapse.

Northcote hammered nine boundaries and a six in his innings of 76, before he was caught and bowled by Swallow with the score at 109. Fellow opener, Parker (31), followed him back to the pavilion with no addition to the total, and in all Woolpit lost seven wickets for just 29 runs.

However, from 138 for seven the home side’s lower order provided some stubborn resistance. Tom Whiteman used up 57 deliveries for his stay of eight runs, while Firth was three not out off 32 balls at the finish to deny Copdock & Old Ipswichian a third win of the campaign.

Meanwhile, basement club Bury St Edmunds forced a draw at Great Witchingham, after Tom Rowbotham had warmed up for Suffolk’s Minor Counties Championship fixture at Lincolnshire with five for 47. The hosts were bowled out for 289 in the 62nd over.

Bury’s hopes of a first win of the season were dashed by a big innings of 140 from opener Sam Arthurton, who was eventually eighth out with the score on 286.

In reply, Bury began strongly with openers Tom Huggins and Justin Bishop seeing the total past 100. Bishop made 63, with eight fours, before he was bowled by Carl Rogers. The visitors ended on 185 for six.

Elsewhere Clacton, who had crushed Bury the previous weekend, found another Suffolk opponent, Sudbury, a very different proposition at Vista Road – in particular Adam Mansfield.

Clacton amassed 257 for five declared off 64 overs, having won the toss, with all of their top seven batsmen making useful contributions.

Opener Thiranko Rajarate top-scored, getting 40 of his 55 runs through boundaries, while Jason Hughes (53), wicketkeeper Chris Warne (44 not out) and skipper Michael Comber (32) also impressed.

Sudbury looked to be heading for defeat, when losing their first four wickets for just 16, with opening bowler Lewis Kirk taking all four.

Mansfield, in harness with James Poulson, took the score on to 77 before Poulson was stumped by Warne off Nuwan Jayasena.

But there was to be no more success for Clacton, as Mansfield and Jandre Coetzee guided Sudbury to a superb victory with an unbeaten stand of 184 for the sixth wicket.

Mansfield romped to a marvellous 124, which included an amazing 18 boundaries, and Coetzee averaged more than a run-a-ball for his 87 as Sudbury reached their target.

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