Victories for Cambridge and Swardeston ensure Sawston & Babraham made to sweat in East Anglian Premier League title race while Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall pick up wins
With two weekends of games left to fulfil it is still all to play for at the top of the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League, following an interesting set of results.
Leaders Sawston & Babraham fell to their first 50-over defeat of the campaign, by three wickets, at home to a Cambridge side now up to sixth but set to be relegated due to a breach of regualtions.
At the same time Swardeston came away with the 25-points from an 82-run victory at Sudbury, closing the gap to 36 points with two matches to go.
It means Dan Heath's league leading Rams would be set to win the title at the first attempt, having had their debut campaign in last year's shortened round robin-style cup format, if they can secure victory at Great Witchingham on Saturday (11am).
After winning the toss at Spicers Sports Ground and electing to bat, Sawston & Babraham started in fairly positive fashion with their first three wickets falling at around 50 run intervals to leave them on 159-3.
Opener Aaron Thomason's run-out, for 75 from 110 deliveries, at the end of that sequence proved to be a turning point though.
CJ Guest's total of 29 from 36 balls was the next highest individual total and their last five wickets fell for just 26 runs to leave them on 239-9.
Henry Campbell (3-45) and Lewis Hill (3-58) both took three wickets each.
The visitors, helped by Daminda Ranaweera's 65 from 94 and mid-order Johnny Atkinson's 72 from 86 were able to cross the winning target early in the 49th over with three wickets in hand to celebrate a memorable victory.
Following consecutive victories since the return of 50-over cricket Sudbury were unable to maintain their recent good form at home to Swardeston.
Opposing captains Adam Mansfield and Joe Gatting will line up together in the final of the National Counties 3-day Championship between Suffolk and Oxfordshire next week, with Gatting winning the toss on Saturday and electing to bat.
Sudbury started well with the ball and Darren Batch removed Callum Taylor, before Paddy Sadler struck twice to remove Alfie Cooper and Gatting and leave the visitors 70-3.
Peter Lambert changed the momentum of the innings with 31 from 16 balls before falling to Batch and when Ryan Vickery took two quick wickets Swardeston were 139-6.
Fortunately for the batting side Stephen Gray (80) remained steady throughout their innings and in combination with Adam Todd (46 from 31) they put on 100 in what was ultimately a match-winning partnership.
Batch (3-39) and Jonny Amos took late wickets to bowl Swardeston out, but they would have been happy with 249, especially considering where they were about an hour previously.
Mansfield fell early for Sudbury in reply but Rubin Hermann, in his final match before returning to South Africa to for pre-season training with his franchise side, and Batch rebuilt impressively. Batch passed 5,000 EAPL runs for Sudbury on his way to 37, before edging down the leg side with the score on 101-2.
Hermann played some magnificent strokes throughout his innings including three sixes, but having been reprieved at mid-on after one straight maximum he was not so lucky second time around and was caught in the same position the ball after another six for 62.
Disappointingly for Sudbury the next highest score after Hermann and Batch was 12 and having been in a position of strength in the chase the Talbots fell well short.
Sudbury, who had begun the campaign with title hopes, find themselves in ninth position and looking to come out on top in their Suffolk derbies against Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall to secure a mid-table finish.
Bury St Edmunds (217-9) made it back-to-back victories with a one-wicket win at Frinton-on-Sea (216-7).
The home side won the toss and elected to bat and started well before hitting the self-destruct button twice, Chris Harris run out by good fielding by Rufus Easdale ( 37.1) and Dan Smith by a good throw from Max Whittaker.
With the score on 80 Barney Morton was caught for 45 off a good catch by 17-year-old debutant Dom Aho.
Max Dias had inspired bowling on 112, taking both Ben Reece (21) and Michael Comber the former Bury captain first ball.
Frinton ended on 216-7 with Dias taking three wickets, Easdale and Josh Cantrell one each.
Bury again opened with Alfie Marston going well, his 22 was off just 15 deliveries.
Ben Seabrook was second out for 34 with the score on 72.
Matt Doran, back from illness, batted well as he reached 52 off 56 deliveries, when out with the score on 129-4.
Ben Whittaker and Cantrell took the score to 182-5 and Bury looked comfortable. But often one wicket brings two and at 182-7 the game swinged in favour of Frinton.
Losing two more wickets left James McKinney and Rufus Easdale needing 20 to win. The faint hearted probably gave up but McKinney survived 29 deliveries for 7 not out and Easdale, who always fancies himself as a batter, saw Bury home by just one wicket.
This is a very young Bury team with 6 teenage players having played this season, with 9 wins to date from 16 completed matches the season has given great promise.
It leaves Bury, a side who have fielded six teenage players this season, in fifth place with nine wins to date from 16 completed matches, alluding to future promise.
Jack Potticary was the star of the show with a century as Mildenhall (233-2) won their local derby at Burwell & Exning (231) by eight wickets.
Having been put into bat by visiting skipper Ollie Lovejoy, Burwell & Exning got off to a decent start, going at five runs an over.
Overseas opener Tony De Zorzi was the first to depart for a swift 38 from just 34 deliveries, with Darren Ironside snaring the wicket LBW.
The South African’s departure saw Olly Jeffries come to the crease and alongside Luke Du-Plooy, the pair put on 67 runs.
However, once the latter was run by Jack Loveday at the non striker’s end for 30, the home team found significant partnerships hard to come by.
Two overs later Ironside removed Jeffries for 35 before the Mildenhall duo of Tom Rash and Nicholas Smit took centre stage.
Suffolk all-rounder Rash ended his 9.3 overs with figures of 3-25, while Smith recorded 4-41 off 10 as Burwell & Exning were eventually dismissed 231.
It was a solid score from the hosts, but Potticary’s display of big hitting meant it was target Mildenhall always looked like reaching with relative ease.
The opener scored a century in just 69 balls, while he was at the crease for a 81 deliveries, from which he scored 114 runs before falling to the bowling of James Hickman.
There was one over in particular that Burwell & Exning’s Jeffries will want to forget as Potticary hit him for 24 runs.
Fellow opener Ironside also made a very useful contribution to the victory, scoring an unbeaten 71, while he was alongside Smit (37 off 31) at the crease when the win was sewn up in two balls shy of 34 overs.
Fourth-placed Mildenhall will go in search of back-to-back victories on Saturday when they play host to Frinton-on-Sea (10th), while bottom-of-the-table Burwell & Exning head to Cambridge, who are sixth.
Elsewhere, Copdock & Old Ipswichian (146) were six run winners at Great Witchingham (140) in a low-scoring affair to leave them eighth and their opponents (3rd) title hopes.
Finally, Saffron Walden (259-7, Z Hamza 113no) beat Horsford (227) by 32 runs.
Fixtures for Saturday (11am):
Bury St Edmunds Vs Sudbury
Cambridge Vs Burwell & Exning
Copdock & Old Ipswichian Vs Horsford
Great Witchingham Vs Sawston & Babraham
Mildenhall Vs Frinton-On-Sea
Swardeston Vs Saffron Walden