Vauxhall Mallards teams get their campaigns up and running

Norfolk bowler Brett Stolworthy in action for Great Witchingham during their EAPL win at the weekend

Norfolk bowler Brett Stolworthy in action for Great Witchingham during their EAPL win at the weekend. He joined during the Witches from Mallards during the close season. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Vauxhall Mallards had a very rewarding weekend, with both teams securing their first league victories of the season.

The first team got their Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League campaign up and running by seeing off Copdock by 31 runs at Halvergate while the seconds overcame visitors Thetford in Division One of the Cecil Amey Norfolk Alliance.

In the final 50 over per side match of the early season, Copdock won the toss and put Mallards in to bat on a day when the chance of rain in the afternoon was fairly high.

After losing a couple of early wickets Mallards were steadied by Ben France (39) and Nick Smit when they put on 93 for the third wicket. Smit lost middle order partners cheaply but pushed the total on with Paul Bradshaw in a seventh wicket partnership of 39.

Mallards were all out for 198 with Smit 91 not out at the end. It maintained an excellent run from the young South African who had registered scores of 80 (league) and 99 not out (Carter Cup) the previous weekend.

Copdock’s reply was impacted straight away when France took two wickets in his first two overs. By the drinks break at 25 overs, Copdock had reached 101 for four but the likelyhood of rain had increased and the visitors were ahead on Duckworth Lewis scores.

There was a brief rain interruption but it had no bearing on the rest of the match as each of Mallards’ six bowlers took wickets to dismiss Copdock for 167, 31 runs short, to earn 30 valuable points.

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Thetford were the second team’s opponents and were put in to bat after Mallards’ captain Carl Amos won the toss. Their innings of 225 was boosted by 68 from Ryan Conroy and it set a challenge to Mallards’ batsmen but openers Amos (106) and Ryan Pearce (34) commanded the situation in a partnership of 160. Even so it was a very close finish but with two balls left Harry Nunn hit a boundary to secure the victory.

The first team are away to Burwell and Exning on Saturday while the seconds travel to their counterparts from Swardeston.

Acle are bottom of the table after two rounds of matches in the Premier Division of the Norfolk Alliance after losing at home to Stow. They were dismissed for just 149 in 38.3 overs (Rob Porter 37) and ended up well beaten as their visitors got home in the 26th over for the loss of just two wickets (Otto Esse 60).

Acle travel to champions Downham Town on Saturday.