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Mark Warbrook’s cricket column: Century a fitting end for O’Brien

CENTURION: James O'Brien
CENTURION: James O'Brien

The season ended in glorious sunshine confirming you can’t beat the cricket club for a summer tipple and excellent atmosphere. It’s been a fabulous season with some good cricket from all areas of the club and it was a fitting end for James O’Brien — who turned out 47 times for the club this season — to score an unbeaten century (111 not out) in a victory over Bardwell.

No-one has played or probably netted more than he has and he was key in Sudbury’s Sunday win. Bardwell scored 206-9. Macca (3), A Siegert (2) and C Thomas with two wickets. Sudbury got them for the loss of four wickets. Dustin Melton, rounding off a good Sunday season with the bat, scored 43. It was great to see Kenny Moulton Day back with 24 not out also. Thanks to Phil Halliday for his super efforts this season as skipper.

On Saturday, the second team capped off a good season with a win against Mistley II in a match reduced to 25 overs a side. Sudbury made an excellent total of 218 including 107 not out from Matt Pears. Mistley ended well short and the guys finished with a flourish, not quite gaining promotion in third place. It was fantastic to see a more youthful side who are now well established and providing a launch-pad, hopefully, into higher cricket. Well done to Matthew Griffiths and the guys; I am sure a promotion party can be on the cards at the end of 2017.

The first team would have liked to end the season with a win at Norwich to finish sixth, but it wasn’t to be and they were seventh.

On their first year back in the EAPL it has been a great season and a platform to push on from with great wins against Bury, Burwell, Woolpit, Cambridge Granta, Frinton and, on two occasions, taking Swardeston to the wire. I think many will remember the match away at Swardeston for years to come. A tough league, tough cricket, but the lads did really well. Big thanks to Darren Batch. Not an easy task to skipper in that league and we thank him and all the chaps this season.

On Saturday, Sudbury bowled Norwich out for 221 on a rain-affected stop/start day. Dustin Melton capped off a decent first season with 5-44. Tom Huggins took four wickets and Billy Moulton-Day claimed a victim. Debutant Phil Halliday also bowled well with figures of 0-18-5. Good to see Phil getting his chance as well as our chairman, Louis Brooks, involved in Premier League cricket for the first time since 2004. Sorry to say, he didn’t trouble the scorers but had plenty of grass stains and bruises at the end of the day! Sudbury all out for 90, James O’Brien top scored with 23.

The curtain closes on the field, but it continues to be wide open off field. Thanks to everyone for their support. Groundsmen David Oakes and Andy Dodds (we don’t know how you do it) vice presidents, sponsors, parents, friends, supporters, passers-by, captains, administrators, players, coaches, Twinstead CC volunteers and our president: you all did us proud. Planning is already in full swing for 2017. Saturday night saw a superb website awards night as Louis Brooks entertained a packed pavilion. The main thing as always is togetherness and camaraderie. Roll on 2017.

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