Vauxhall Mallards beaten at home by champions Swardeston

Stephen Gray was one of the stars for Swardeston as they beat Vauxhall Mallards at Halvergate. Pictu

Stephen Gray was one of the stars for Swardeston as they beat Vauxhall Mallards at Halvergate. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Vauxhall Mallards were unable to follow up their superb win at Sudbury the previous week with another victory against top two opposition in the East Anglian Premier League.

Mallards lost by five wickets to Swardeston at Halvergate after being bowled out for 216 off the final ball of the 64th over.

On a day of contrasting weather conditions across the weekend’s EAPL matches Mallards’ game against the champions remained unaffected despite rain just before the start of the match.

Mallards batted first, having won the toss, with Ben France and Mitchell Todd opening.

They made a good measured start against Swardeston’s bowlers Tom Oxley and Michael Eccles but France was caught for 23 after the first bowling change when Matthew Taylor came on.

Todd stayed at the wicket with four more partners before he was caught behind on 81. Brett Stolworthy batted at seven and boosted the innings with a valuable 38, but Joe Gatting and Freddie Ruffell worked through the Mallards’ batsmen to finish with three wickets each.

The home side batted the maximum 64 overs and finished on 216 all out with one ball to spare.

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Swardeston’s batsmen put pressure on Mallards’ bowlers straight away and they moved quickly beyond the required run rate.

Stolworthy took the wicket of Jordan Taylor (49) when Swardeston were on 84 but their batsmen looked comfortable building their total. Stephen Gray made 49 as well and when Jason Reynolds (84) was caught off the bowling of Paul Bradshaw Swardeston were looking good.

They had a late tumble of wickets but never looked in trouble and kept the momentum of the game to win by five wickets with ten overs to spare.

Mallards travel to Burwell tomorrow (11am).

In the Premier Division of the Norfolk Alliance Acle lost a tight game against Downham Town, who moved 16 points clear at the top as a result.

Skipper Josh Rowe scored an unbeaten 57 and opener Geoff Handley 58 in a competitive total of 230-7 that pushed Downham to the limit. But they edged home for the loss of six wickets in their final over, with Duncan Lanchester and Joss Stuart seeing them over the line.

Acle are away to Fakenham tomorrow (1pm).