EAPL Round-up: Burwell & Exning, Mildenhall and Sudbury pick up victories on another wet weekend
Sudbury (129-9) crept home by one-wicket in a nail-biting finish to a remarkable home game against Frinton-on-Sea (128) on Saturday, securing a hugely significant 25 points in the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League.
Only one of three games to survive the wet weather, it saw the Talbots (4th) capitalise to move to within 17 points from the three sides – Great Witchingham, Mildenhall and Sawston & Babraham – currently holding the joint lead in the table with 89 points. It also replied to back-to-back victories in their last two completed matches while heaping further misery on 2019 champions Frinton at the foot of the table.
Stand-in captain Paddy Sadler won the delayed toss and had little hesitation in choosing to bowl. And the decision was vindicated when Darren Batch struck in his first over.
Sean Cooper took an important scalp to remove Frinton’s Essex man Josh Rymell with the score on 39-2, and when Billy Moulton-Day trapped Jack Newby LBW and his brother Kenny ran out Jake Foley with a direct hit, the home side were in the ascendancy at 57-4.
A 44-run stand between Chris Harris and former Talbot Ben Reece rebuilt for Frinton but Reece was bowled by Sadler, who followed up with two further wickets to finish with 3-32.
Batch cleaned up the remaining wickets to finish with outstanding figures of 4-17, and Sudbury would have been delighted to be chasing 129 to win.
Despite the confidence at halfway Ollie Bocking struck twice in the second over of the innings to dismiss debutant overseas professional Rubin Hermann and Batch for ducks.
Bocking went on to dismiss Adam Dellar and Ryan Vickery cheaply, and when Frinton skipper Michael Comber sent Ben Parker and James Poulson back to the pavilion, Sudbury were in a lot of trouble at 47-6.
Alex Quin was determined in defence and Kenny Moulton-Day batted like only he can (48 from 36) to keep the home side in the hunt. But when Moulton-Day and Cooper both fell to Dulanjala Mendis, Sudbury still required 31.
While normal skipper Mansfield was not available due to a dislocated finger, it was his suggestion to promote Billy Moulton-Day which arguably won the game; Moulton-Day excelling himself with 19 from 11 balls including two sixes. He also fell to Mendis with five required, but Quin (with a crucial 19 not out from 54 deliveries) and Sadler held firm to get Sudbury over the line.
Unfortunately Sunday’s foray into the ECB National KO Cup was less successful for the Talbots, going down by 157 runs to reigning champions Swardeston. The Norfolk side posted 273-6 from their 50 overs and Sudbury never looked likely to get close, all out for 116 in the 36th over of their reply.
Mildenhall (192-5) came away from their trip to Copdock & Old Ipswichian (118-5) with a 74-run win.
Limited to 30 overs a side due to rain, Mildenhall’s overseas signing Nicolas Smit impressed with the bat, scoring 69 runs from just 56 deliveries.
That was followed by a tight bowling performance which was spearheaded by Darren Ironside (2-24).
Burwell & Exning (262-7) edged a tight encounter – with a revised target – at Saffron Walden (210-8) by five runs.
South African all-rounder Tony De Zorzi was the star of the show, scoring 94 runs with the bat and then taking four wickets.
Wet weather saw Bury St Edmunds' match at home to Cambridge and Sawston & Babraham's trip to Horsford cancelled while Great Witchingham were 106-3 in 23 overs when their game at Swardeston was abandoned. All sides receive seven points.
This weekend sees the return of the all-day 120 over format for the first time since 2019, while spectators are also now allowed into grounds again.
Fixtures for May 22 (11am)
Burwell & Exning Vs Horsford
Cambridge Vs Mildenhall
Frinton-on-Sea Vs Saffron Walden
Great Witchingham Vs Bury St. Edmunds
Sudbury Vs Copdock & Old Ipswichan