Sudbury fall short of victory in battle at relegation rivals

CROSSING PATHS: Sudbury II's Matt Pears (left) and James O'Brien during their 193-run win over Yoxford at Friars Street on Saturday
CROSSING PATHS: Sudbury II's Matt Pears (left) and James O'Brien during their 193-run win over Yoxford at Friars Street on Saturday

GIBBS DENLEY

EAST ANGLIAN

PREMIER LEAGUE

Horsford 250-8 dec

drew with Sudbury 201-7

Nathan Poole came within eight runs of his first Premier League century, but it was not enough for Sudbury to win at relegation rivals Horsford.

The Talbots remain bottom of the league after picking up 10 points from north Norwich on Saturday with Horsford taking 14 from the draw, in which rain did not help Sudbury’s cause.

Captain Darren Batch won the toss and asked Horsford to bat on a track that looked green and as if it could offer the bowlers some assistance early on.

Batch’s decision looked a good one as some destructive bowling by James Poulson reduced Horsford to 29-3 after 10 overs.

All three wickets were caught behind by wicketkeeper Steve O’Brien, called into the squad after vice-captain Adam Mansfield broke a finger in the week.

Sudbury’s progress was undone by the positive batting of Stephen Marrilier, who decided that attack was the best form of defence and he amassed 98 from 108 balls before being bowled by spinner Andy Simmons.

He was well supported by a patient Matt Wilkinson, who frustrated the Sudbury bowlers, finishing on 76.

Chris Brown supported with 24 before being run-out superbly by Nathan Poole from the deep mid-wicket boundary. Wickets fell and runs were scored frequently which meant Horsford posted a total of 250–8 from 63 overs before declaring.

Poulson took 3-33, Jon Gallagher 2-74, Simmons 1-46 and Batch 1-28.

Sudbury’s reply started well after a short burst of rain reduced their overs to 49 to chase 250.

Poole and Jay Phillips played the seam bowlers positively and looked comfortable against an ever-improving pitch. Eventually Phillips was caught in slip after the spinners were introduced and Peter Siegert fell two balls later in similar circumstances.

Poole was joined by Ben Reece and managed to build a solid partnership, scoring 111 between them before Reece was caught at mid-off for 58 after looking to increase the run-rate.

Some eloquent stroke play from Poole saw him move to 92 from 125 balls before being caught behind off the bowling of Ryan Findlay, an agonising eight runs short of a maiden Premier League century.

Wickets continued to tumble as Sudbury looked to push the run-rate up and chase the total, but eventually the towel was thrown in and the draw played for.

Gallagher and Poulson managed to see the final six overs off without losing any more wickets and Sudbury finished on 201-7 from 49 overs.

n Sudbury’s Ben Hyett, Jon Gallagher, Adam Mansfield and Nathan Poole all played in Suffolk Under-19s’ six-wicket defeat to Huntingdonshire at Exning last Thursday.

Mansfield scored nine runs, Poole 14 and Gallagher 27 with Hyett not batting as Suffolk made 209, but Huntingdonshire eased their way past it, with Gallagher the only Sudbury player to take a wicket.