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Vauxhall Mallards forced to settle for draw in rain-affected encounter

PUBLISHED: 08:57 11 August 2017

Action from Saturday's EAPL match between Great Witchingham and Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley

Action from Saturday's EAPL match between Great Witchingham and Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley

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Vauxhall Mallards had to settle for a rain affected draw in their final long format fixture of the season in the East Anglian Premier League.

The made 147-6 off 56.2 overs against visitors Horsford, who finished the game on 106-9 in their revised allocation of 35 overs.

The match at Halvegate commenced in bright sunshine but the weather forecast did not look favourable for cricket anywhere in the region. The question was not so much if but when the rain might arrive.

Horsford won the toss and put Mallards in to bat. Ben France and Mitchell Todd opened the innings and soon had runs on the board.

They were going well against the seamers when Todd (32) went to a tumbling catch by Metcalf. With France on 34 Mallards had a mini collapse, losing three wickets for 11 runs, all for France, after Chris Brown and Ryan Findlay came on as first change bowlers.

Mallards’ score was boosted by a quick and much needed 25 from Brett Stolworthy as the ominous looking clouds loomed. The rain came at 3pm with Ali Shearer (14) and Will Woodhead (3) at the wicket and Mallards on 147-6 off 56.2 overs.

With other EAPL matches abandoned or rain affected it was difficult to imagine a result being achieved but with tea taken early, the rain stopped and play was restarted at 5pm. Horsford were left with 35 overs to get the 148 overs required.

It was bad news for Mallards as Horsford openers Luke Findlay and Jonathan Crowe hit out to the boundary and Paul Bradshaw had to leave the field injured in his fourth over.

Horsford made progress but Mallards kept up the pressure by taking wickets. With some sharp close fielding and some excellent catches by Connor Nixon and Stolworthy Horsford were in trouble.

Once the chance for them to make runs had gone it was down to Mallards to take the wickets. Mitchell Todd and Luke Caswell went through the lower order but Horsford held out. It was a tense, exciting finish to a game which, earlier looked all but over. A loss or a win was possible, right up to the last ball but the match concluded in a draw with Horsford finishing on 106-9.

Todd finished with figures of 4-26 in seven overs and Caswell 4-32 in 14.1.

Mallards entertain Norwich in the 50 overs per side format tomorrow (11am).

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