EAPL Round-up: Alistair Allchin stars with 7-37 as Bury St Edmunds take 100 per cent record off Great Witchingham while Sawston & Babraham march on for outright leaders spot after Mark Smith ends with 5-24
More wet weather saw only half of the six Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League matches survive again but it was an excellent Saturday for Bury St Edmunds, Frinton-on-Sea and new outright leaders Sawston & Babraham.
Those that did get to take to the pitch – with games involving Burwell & Exning versus Horsford, Cambridge hosting Mildenhall and Copdock & Old Ipswichian visiting Sudbury all cancelled – did so in their whites as the 120 over 'all day' format returned.
Bury St Edmunds (74-2) certainly enjoyed their trip to Walcis Park as they became the first side to beat Great Witchingham (73) in emphatic fashion – with an eight-wicket winning margin with the red ball.
Visiting skipper Ben Seabrook, having won the key toss, had no hesitation in inviting the home side to bat on a damp overcast day, with play getting under way after an hour's delay.
The home side have an impressive top order but the conditions with the ball swinging made batting difficult and within the first hour the top order were blown away as four wickets fell with only 21 on the scoreboard.
George Loyd took the first wicket, of James Spellman, bowled for two.
Hudson De Lucchi was very well caught by wicketkeeper Chris Benjamin off Alistair Allchin for 0 and Sam Arthurton, who tops the runs scored for the season, was cleaned bowled by Allchin for eight. This was followed up by having James Hale for 0 with Allchin bowling the best spell of his career with Bury. His pace and swing of the cricket ball was superb.
The main resistance for the home side came from overseas professional Yassen Valli but after the lunch break he was out, again caught by Benjamin off Allchin for 25 to leave the Norfolk hosts 55-6.
Bury completed the rout with a run-out by Ben Whittaker with the score on 73, the star performer was Allchin who bowled unchanged with figures of 12.3 overs four maidens and 37 runs for seven wickets.
Bury did not have it all their own way in reply as both Hugh Stanton (2) and Benjamin (6) were out on 14-2.
But Matt Doran (32) who had earlier taken a wicket, batted well not without the odd difficulty. Along with captain Seabrook (25) Bury reached 74-2 and collected 25 points, taking them to third in the EAPL and one point behind second-placed Mildenhall.
It will be a top-of-the-table clash at The Victory Sports Ground on Saturday (11am) as Sawston & Babraham (86-6) beat visiting Swardeston (82) by four wickets to keep their winning start to the season going.
Dan Heath's Rams are now the only team to have taken maximum points from their non-cancelled matches with four from four to give them an 18-point lead at the summit.
After the hosts won the toss and electing to field, they had Swardeston all out for 82 in little more than half their allocated overs (35 from 64).
The star of the show was undoubtedly Mark Smith who took five wickets for 24 runs from his 14 overs, putting in an impressive seven maidens.
Ben Clilverd also did plenty of damage with 4-46 from his 15 overs (three maidens).
Smith took the key wickets of Suffolk professional Joe Gatting to halt him at 15 runs along with Richard Smith whose 19 from 60 balls proved to be the highest of their innings.
In reply, in what was the Rams' first ever experience of the longer format as it was not used in 2020, the required runs were knocked off just one ball into the 26th over.
Ethan Guest's home debut saw him carry his bat for 23 off 43 balls from number six to end alongside opener Waqas Hussain who top scored with 30 from 35 deliveries.
The other match that beat the weather saw Frinton-on-Sea (121-1) end their winless start to the season in some style with a nine-wicket victory over visiting Saffron Walden (120).
It sees the Essex side move off the bottom of the table at the expense of Cambridge, who have lost all three of their played matches so far.
The Frinton wickets were largely shared around but Jake Foley took 3-38 as the visitors were all out in the 52nd over.
Opener Jack Newbury with 81 from 85 deliveries was the star man in the reply with Joshua Rymell also carrying his bat for 35.
Fixtures for May 29 (11am)
Bury St Edmunds Vs Sawston & Babraham
Copdock & Old Ipswichian Vs Cambridge
Horsford Vs Frinton-On-Sea
Mildenhall Vs Great Witchingham
Saffron Walden Vs Sudbury
Swardeston Vs Burwell & Exning