Title bid suffers huge blow as Sudbury slide to fourth

BACK IN ACTION: Jonny Gallagher, pictured playing against Mildenhall II earlier in the season, returned to first-team action in a disappointing defeat
BACK IN ACTION: Jonny Gallagher, pictured playing against Mildenhall II earlier in the season, returned to first-team action in a disappointing defeat
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MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE: Sudbury 156 lost to Mildenhall 285-5 by 129 runs: Sudbury lost further ground to the title chasers as they slipped to a heavy defeat athome to a revitalised Mildenhall on Saturday.

In hot sunny conditions, with a very dry and used pitch, Mildenhall captain Karl Holmes won the toss and elected to bat first.

Immediately Sudbury came under pressure as opening batsman Joe Reed went on the attack, being particularly severe on any over-pitch bowling.

Despite the loss of fellow opener Reynolds, this only served to bring South African Kobus Scholtz to the crease.

Alongside Reed, Mildenhall continued to set about Sudbury bowlers Darren Batch and James Poulson.

Following the introduction of the returning Jonny Gallagher, Reed soon fell for a run-a-ball 26 to a well-judged catch by Matt Pears.

But from that point forward things fell away badly for Sudbury as a mixture of poor cricket on the home side’s part, and some good fortune for the Mildenhall batsmen allowed the away team to race away.

Shepperson posted a hundred as they amassed 285 off their allocated 50 overs for the loss of five wickets.

With a lightning-fast outfield this was certainly not beyond the Talbots, although they needed to get off to a good start.

But this was immediately not helped as captain Jonathan Phillips was forced to bat down the order due to a finger injury sustained during the game and the new opening partnership of Nathan Poole and James O’Brien failed both fell cheaply.

Teenager Tom Allen struck first when Adam Trett took an extraordinary catch in the slips to dismiss Poole for 10.

Jack Beaumont trapped O’Brien (2) lbw and then, with the score on 29, he got a prize wicket when he bowled overseas professional Mike Jones for four.

With Batch (75) being the only batsman to seriously threaten the scoring rate, a constant trickle of wickets undermined the run chase which ended with Sudbury being bowled out for hugely disappointing 156.

With a challenging away trip to Wivenhoe next on the list for the Talbots on Saturday (11am), Phillip’s side know they will need a massive improvement in order to get back to winning ways.