Copdock going strong for EAPL play-off

CRICKET: Copdock and Old Ipswichians expect to have a full strength side when they take on Fakenham in the East Anglian Premier League play-off semi-final this Saturday.


COPDOCK and Old Ipswichians expect to have a full strength side when they take on Fakenham in the East Anglian Premier League play-off semi-final this Saturday.

Copdock romped to a nine-wicket win over Browns to snatch the runners-up position and with it a shot at a place in the EAPL.

Newly-crowned Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship champions Tattingstone's facilities prevent them from moving up.

If Copdock beat Fakenham they will face Ramsey, who finished bottom of the EAPL, with the winners rewarded with a place in the top regional league.

"We'll definitely be up for that," said Copdock captain John East. "We should just about be at full strength."

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Last year Copdock threw away the title by losing their last three games but this time they came from behind to finish second for the second year running.

Tim Percival (47), Rob Earl (62 not out) and Tristan Jervis (49 not out) carried them past the Browns total of 181 for a nine-wicket win in just 38 overs. "We thought we were out of it a few weeks ago, so we've played in a more relaxed atmosphere for the last four or five games," said East. "Maybe that's been better for us."

Defeat could prove to be costly for Browns – unless Copdock do them a favour. Bury St Edmunds II gained an important five-wicket win over bottom team Braintree and moved above Browns, who finished second-bottom despite winning six games. They could be given a final reprieve from the drop if Copdock earn promotion to the EAPL.

Another gutsy win for Tattingstone clinched the Division One title, while Sudbury lost out narrowly to Halstead and dropped to third place.

Exning had half-centuries from both Tim Catley and Dave Monk on their way to a formidable total of 252 for five. Undeterred, Tattingstone captain Chris Bell responded with 80, his best of the season, and then Darshan Shivalkar and Mark Sproats, back after a three-week ban, guided the team to a seven-wicket win with an unbroken partnership.

"I'm really happy about the way it's gone," said Bell. "Considering the size of our squad we've done really well, and whenever anybody has stepped in because of holidays or illness or whatever, they always seem to have done well.

"To have completed the season with just four defeats is a great effort. I hope we can keep most of the side together next season and use this year as a benchmark for the future."

Tattingstone have put together a Lottery application for a new pavilion.

"There was plenty of champagne at the ground on Saturday," said Bell, as the players also toasted overseas player Shivalkar, who has returned to Mumbai for his domestic season in India.

Sudbury's fine season ended in slight disappointment with a four-wicket defeat at Halstead. Simon Steel took four for 49 as Sudbury scored 177 for eight and Mark Spatcher followed up his three wickets with a century which guided Halstead home.

In Division Two, Ipswich and East Suffolk ended with the least number of defeats in the league – just one against Mildenhall.

They had already clinched the title and their final success came against Frinton with Rob Glassford scoring 99 in a total of 171 for nine before Mark Smith grabbed five wickets in a 63-run win. Smith ended a remarkable season with 38 wickets at 10.03.

Coggeshall will join IES in Division One after beating Easton in a thrilling winner-take-all contest.

A four-wicket win came from the first ball of the last over as they overhauled the visitors' total of 191 for six.

The impressive Jolyon Kimmerling batted through the Easton innings before getting out to the final delivery for 128.

An opening stand of 70 between Jimmy Rees (33) and Chris Dingley (79) only ended when the bowler deflected a drive onto the stumps at the non-striker's end to run Rees out.

Then 17-year-old Will Blackwell took over with 70 not out, surviving a catch on the mid-wicket boundary in the penultimate over that ran away for four.

Easton's Sean Carlisle took four for 60 in 22.1 overs.

The withdrawal of Felixstowe at the start of the season may mean that Witham avoid the drop.

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