Chance meeting pays off for Tatt

A CHANCE meeting between Tattingstone fixture secretary and second XI captain Mel Phair and Eight Ash Green allrounder Stuart Hammond has opened up a brand new era for the Suffolk village club.

By Elvin King

A CHANCE meeting between Tattingstone fixture secretary and second XI captain Mel Phair and Eight Ash Green all-rounder Stuart Hammond has opened up a brand new era for the Suffolk village club.

On Saturday, Hammond starred with both bat and ball as Tattingstone collected their fourth win since their promotion to the First Division of the Hargreaves Two Counties Championship.

They beat Ipswich and East Suffolk by 62 runs at Green Lane with Hammond scoring 64 runs as the home side reached 277 for nine.

Hammond then bowled 17 overs and took two wickets for 60 runs as Tattingstone collected maximum points.

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"Stuart's arrival this season has been better for us than taking a gamble with an overseas player," said Tattingstone captain Adrian Stockton.

"Mel Phair bumped into Stuart in a floodlit game played at Castle Park, Colchester last summer. He said he was not that happy playing in the Third Division for Eight Ash Green and Mel suggested that he moved to us.

"He scored a tremendous amount of runs for Eight Ash Green and has already proved a big hit with us. We are now half way through the season and it we can win another four matches we should be safe from relegation.

"It looks certain that a side that feeds down into the Two Counties will be relegated from the East Anglian Premier League. Halstead, Mildenhall, Maldon and Clacton currently fill the bottom positions.

"This means that after a number of years when just one club was relegated from the Two Counties First Division this season it is going to be three.

"We must therefore keep up our guard, and the fact that we still have five games at home and four away is a bonus.

"Our wicket was in excellent condition on Saturday and with spinners like Stuart and Paul Culley, who can only play every other weekend, in our side we always have a chance."

Stockton took advantage of the conditions by scoring his first hundred in the top flight. His 99-run partnership with Hammond was crucial as only one other Tattingstone player reached double figures in a total of 277.

"We got off to a great start with 52 runs off the first six overs and Mike Edmond, who bowled 17 no balls, conceded 21 runs off his first over.

"We had a collapse in the middle and at 228 for eight the game was still wide open," added 34-year-old Stockton. "But we managed to put on 49 for the ninth wicket which proved crucial."

Stockton, who was given out caught behind for 96 against Exning on June 2, praised teenage opening bowler Gavin Driver who bowled 22 overs for 85 runs.

"Both Gavin and Stuart stayed below four runs conceded an over which kept us in the driving seat when we bowled," said Stockton.

Edmond took five wickets for IES and then made a half century as most of the visiting batsmen made a start but were unable to build an innings big enough to get close to their target.

Browns continued their winning ways to keep the pressure on the top two, Exning and Copdock. Skipper Martyn Kidd scored 81 runs from 116 balls and Australian Brendan Meagher an unbeaten 63 from 82 balls as Browns reached 251 for seven after being put into bat.

In reply, Felixstowe were never in the hunt with Martin Hackney taking six wickets for 43 runs from 13 overs. Hackney replaced Tan Shahid, who is carrying a shoulder injury, and was playing his first top-flight match.

Surely Browns and Felixstowe have seen enough of each other for a while. They played out a draw last Thursday in Brown's successful cricket week, met in the league on Saturday and also in the Sunday Challenge the following day.

Felixstowe evened things up in this match when South African Jaque Oberholzer went to town with an unbeaten 155, featuring in a stand of 184 with Ian Connell for the fourth wicket.

Ed Parker then took five wickets for 22 runs from seven overs as Browns were dismissed 41 runs short of their target.

Both Exning and Copdock won narrow Two Counties First Division matches where they were able to hold their nerve. The former scored 245 at Braintree to win by just six runs, while Copdock made 199 and won by nine runs against Frinton.

Sudbury picked up a welcome victory to get back on track against Wivenhoe and it now looks like a three-horse race to go down with IES, Frinton and Felixstowe the sides staring relegation in the face. The champions will surely come from the current top three.

In Division Two, Easton lost at Worlington but retained their promotion place behind Mistley. The following day Easton slammed IES in the Sunday Challenge by 10 wickets with Jolyon Kimmerling hitting a hundred and Jon Todd a half century.

Stowmarket drop to bottom of the Third Division after losing at Brockley by 90 runs although St Margarets improved their position with a six-wicket win against Clacton seconds.

Achilles and Hadleigh enjoyed victories in Division Four but East Bergholt's hopes of moving up a division were hit when they lost by 11 runs at Long Melford.

Debenham collected their fifth Fifth Division win when the Gayfer brothers, Steve and Tony, contributed the bulk of their runs in a six wicket victory against the Braintree second team. Over-50 bowler Willie Muggleston took four wickets for 48 runs from 15 overs to help keep Braintree's score below 200.

n Ipswich and East Suffolk third XI are looking for a home fixture this Sunday, July 8. Please contact Dave Little on Ipswich 729732 (evenings) or Ipswich 274178 (work).

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