MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE: Coggeshall 228-8 beat Sudbury 181 by 47 runs: Sudbury’s chances of a quick return to the Premier League all but vanished after a disappointing defeat to title-chasers Coggeshall.
Having won the toss, Sudbury’s bowlers did a good containing job before taking their first wicket when Darren Batch had Bert Jagger caught at mid-off with the score on 24.
Fellow opener Jimmy Rees was soon to follow for a torturous four off 36 ballls with Batch again in the wickets.
Spinner Mike Jones did a similarly good job of restricting the other batsmen, but the key wicket of the free-scoring Dane Cleaver was missed when the opportunity arose as a simple slip catch was spilt.
This proved costly as Cleaver went on to amass an aggressive hundred, in as many balls, before he was superbly caught by James Poulson off the bowling of Jones.
This was one of Jones’ five victims as he went on to card impressive figures of 16:2:5:59 as the home side finished their 50 over allocation on 228-8.
In reply, Sudbury got off to the ideal start as Nathan Poole and Charlie Holt put on 50 for the first wicket, only for Holt to play an uncharacteristic shot that accounted for his wicket as he departed for 22.
With Nathan Poole, Darren Batch and Jonathan Phillips also departing for scores that should have been built on, much rested on Jones and vice-skipper James Poulson.
A partnership of 60 looked to have hauled Sudbury back into the game, but the untimely dismissal of Jones to a Bailey long hop signalled the start of the end, despite a valiant effort from Poulson.
He finished up being stranded on 55 when he was the last man to fall as the visitors succumbed to a 47-run defeat.
With four games to play, Sudbury can only hope an improved performance at home to bottom side Lakenheath on Saturday (11am) will form part of an end-of-season push that could yet decide where the title ends up.
n Sudbury II (278-6) leap-frogged rivals Long Melford back into second spot in Division Three with a comfortable 22-run home victory over previous league leaders Brightlingsea (256-8).
Steve Witham (103) and Matt Pears (49) guided Sudbury to 278-6.
The bowlers struggled for consistency, but Pears (two wickets) and Mathew Wooderson (three) turned the game.