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Colin's Sudbury Cricket Column, Rain Wrecks Sudbury’s Hopes

Author: Colin Walters Published: 26th May 2014 11:06

  Colinin warmer climes

Colin’s Sudbury Cricket Column
Rain Wrecks Sudbury’s Hopes

Week 6 2014

I was in my Prague office on Friday and the journey to the airport to catch the plane home was one of the scariest experiences I’ve had in recent times… Rivers running down the roads back into the soon to be flooded centre of the city, cars sliding about all over the place, constant lightning flashes and hailstones the size of golf balls, something I had always though entirely apocryphal. Anyway I managed to bring it all back with me to wreck Sudbury’s chances of extending their leads in Divisions 1 and 3 of the Two Counties League on Saturday, though not enough to stop England being humiliated by Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The first cricketing action of the week at Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk was on Wednesday where Suffolk over 50’s entertained royally in making 263 for 6 against bogey side Bedfordshire with ex Sudbury stalwart Simon Halliday making 50. Bedfordshire with last season’s ECB competition top scorer Jeremy Page in their team were definitely in with a chance needing only 6 an over with 7 wickets in hand and 20 overs left but a brilliant diving catch from Arthur Wormington removed Page and the away side collapsed to finish 80 runs short as the drizzle descended.

On Saturday, the Talbots first team, after a disastrous start had battled their way to be bowled out for just under 200 at Mistley with Mr Consistent Mike Jones making yet another 50 (has he played a completed innings under 50 yet this season?) and Steve Witham providing some fireworks at the rear end of the innings with 41 off 23 balls. Nathan Poole and James Poulson also made important contributions. Mistley had reached 136 for 4 with still another 19 overs to go when the rains came. It was nip and tuck which team would have got over the line but Mistley were maybe slight favourites whilst star batter Griggs was still at the crease (82 not out). Ben Reece took a couple of wickets.

Sudbury still have a 12 point lead at the top of the table, the gap closed by Wivenhoe completing their game before the rains. There was also a bizarre game between Worlington and Witham where the home side amassed over 270 and had Witham 115 for 9 when they ran out of time to finish the game. There was just one over left!! Just how long it took to bowl the last couple of overs isn’t recorded but I bet there wes a lot of bootlace tying, calling for fresh gloves and mid pitch conferences between the batsmen?

Sudbury Saturday 2nd X1 look like they were on their way to extending their lead at the top of Div 3 having bowled Woodbridge out for 135 and been 61 for 3 in reply but the rains came and the Talbots had to settle for 11 points. However it could easily have been 20 as Ben Hyett with 4 for 23 off 15 overs had reduced the away side to 71 for 7. Again slightly bizarrely, only two games were completed in this league, one of which was at Long Melford… Must be some sort of micro climate over the village? The Talbots remain top with a 6 point lead

Sudbury Saturday 3rd team failed to even make the journey to Kesgrave so settled for 6 points from the cancellation. Although bottom of Division 6 they are just 11 points off the middle of the table and have played (or not played in the case of Saturday) only sides in the top 7 so hopefully they can take last week’s fine form into the next few weeks and climb the table.

At Friars Street on Sunday, the Talbot’s first team took a rest from league action to play a 25 over a side friendly against the Brewery Tap. It was a slightly one sided affair with the home side making well over 200 and the opposition not quite. The game was notable for a brilliant 98 by 15 year old Ollie Burns and a hat trick for another youngster Will Pickering, together with James Yallop’s return to the Sudbury ranks making 47 off 15 balls!

The weekend’s best result came courtesy of Chairman Troughton’s Sunday 2nd X1 at East Bergholt. With a slightly more experienced side (4 x fifty plus year olds rather than the 2 last week) things were not looking too rosy as Bergholt smashed a very quick first 50 off only 8 overs but Nico Hooper with 2 wickets and Sam Nixon and Ollie Boyle with one each checked the scoring rate to be followed by a spell of four wickets in as many overs shared between Bryan Poulson (including one wonderful age defying diving caught and bowled) and Roger Troughton reducing the home side to 100 for 8. A further wicket for the chairman at 101 was then followed by a couple of dropped catches to allow the home side to add an unbeaten 25 for their last wicket.

Sudbury’s experienced opening pair of Simon Ruffle and the author struggled to get ahead of the rate and when Ruffle was dismissed with the Talbots only in the thirties, the game was in the balance. A 70 run second wicket stand between the author, who made a slightly streaky 60, and Andy Holness a secure 20 not out saw the away side close enough to home for Holness to finsh the job with the aid of 13 year old Keelan Waldock and an 8 wicket victory which should see the Talbots bounce up into the middle of Hunts County Bats Division 4.

So the Sudbury men were unbeaten across the weekend. Unfortunately, the ladies failed to raise a side to take to Mistley on Friday evening so that does count as the clubs one defeat.

Next week, Sudbury’s Saturday first team host middle of the table Coggeshall, Matt Woodersons Saturday seconds have the deep joy of a trip to Brightlingsea who currently lie 2nd in 2-Counties Divn 3 and the third team host an Ipswich 3rd team, just above them in 2-Counties Division 6. On Sunday the first team are away at Mildenhall and the second team home to Hadleigh Academy. With more luck raising a team, the ladies will be at home to West Bergholt on Friday night.

As I sit here in my conservatory looking out on the grass growing almost visibly, I know how much I’m going to miss the beautiful green and my cricket fix of Suffolk, Sudbury and Friars Street as I head back out to the Gulf then on to Australia so missing the next 4 weeks of the season. When I return, I expect the Saturday first and second teams to be away and clear at the top of Div’s 1 and 3 and the thirds to be comfortably mid table, the Sunday first team to be back challenging for Hunts County Bats Divn 1 and the seconds to be on a 5 game winning streak.

In the interim, the column will have to act as my substitute fix.


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