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All set for a top-class clash at the summit

Action from Two Counties Division One match between Mildenhall and Haverhill. Star umpire Ron Raisey. ENGANL00220130715133647
Action from Two Counties Division One match between Mildenhall and Haverhill. Star umpire Ron Raisey. ENGANL00220130715133647

Well we are definitely getting towards the business end of the season with just six games to go for all our local teams.

Mildenhall are battling it out with Wivenhoe for the Division One title and this weekend the two teams meet at Wivenhoe in probably the most important game of the season. Elsewhere, Hadleigh and Halstead are in the thick of the relegation battle.

In Division Two, our three featured clubs are all at the wrong end of the table, with Exning and Lakenheath starting to be cut adrift, while Long Melford still need a couple of wins to ensure safety.

Mildenhall comfortably beat near neighbours Worlington once again, this time by 158 runs. Mildenhall 279-9, Peter Worthington 64, Ben Shepperson 62, Craig Woollard 4-40. Worlington 121, Jimmy Watson 69no, Tom Allen 4-33, Jack Bowman 3-13. Worlington entertain Frinton IIs while Mildenhall travel to Wivenhoe hoping to extend their three-point lead at the top of the table.

Haverhill beat local rivals Halstead by just five runs in a high scoring encounter thanks to a century by skipper Adam Dellar. Haverhill 283-6, Dellar 119, Ollie Grayson 3-66, Halstead 278-8, Ian Pont 87, Chris Palmer 4-37. Halstead travel to Copford while Haverhill play host to Mistley.

Hadleigh lost to Mistley by seven wickets; their top order batsmen really letting them down. Hadleigh 145, Ben Wallis 57no, Mistley 146-3. This Saturday they face a crucial trip to fellow relegation-threatened side Braintree.

Lakenheath looked to be on their way to a much-needed victory against East Bergholt, but once again their frail batting line up let them down. East Bergholt 121, Danny Rodic 5-37, Lakenheath 95, Andy Leech 22no. High flying Clacton are the visitors on Saturday.

Long Melford’s poor season continued with yet another abysmal batting display, this time losing to Clacton by 268 runs. Clacton 363-3, Long Melford 95, Steve Hale 26. Ipswich are the visitors this weekend.

Finally, another poor batting display by Exning saw them beaten by Ipswich & East Suffolk by seven wickets. Exning 101, Kent Tomsett 23, Ipswich & East Suffolk 102-3, Peter Woods 2-21. This Saturday sees the visit of Dunmow.

I had the pleasure of umpiring at the Royal Hospital School on Monday in the Minor Counties Under-12 competition. I did the game between Suffolk and Cumbria and it was good to see how much these young lads enjoyed their cricket and how enthusiastic they were.

Suffolk batted first and made 187-7 off their 45 overs and Cumbria, although losing a wicket on 11, paced their innings superbly, scoring 188-1 and winning comfortably.

On Saturday I am looking forward to umpiring the top-of-the-table clash between Wivenhoe and Mildenhall in the company of my colleague Martin White. I am expecting a hard-fought game between two closely-matched sides and it could all hinge on a moment of brilliance from any of the excellent players on either side. Both play the game hard and in the spirit of the game, so it should be great one to watch.

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