Hammond tipped to play for Suffolk
CRICKET: Tattingstone's Stuart Hammond smashed an excellent century as his side moved up to second place in Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
TATTINGSTONE'S Stuart Hammond smashed an excellent century as his side moved up to second place in Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
Opening batsman Hammond hit a chance-less 111 and was immediately tipped for a place in the county team after Tattingstone made 259 for 5 in their match against Wivenhoe.
All rounder Hammond has started the season in excellent form and his ton against Wivenhoe followed a five-wicket haul he gained against Sudbury the previous weekend.
Club captain Chris Bell has been impressed at Hammond's start to the season and feels he deserves more recognition for his efforts.
"I cannot believe Stuart hasn't been called up to the Suffolk side," said Bell. "His all round game is superb and he just seems to sit on his wicket and has the time to put the ball exactly where he wants to.
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"He rarely gives away chances and he definitely deserves a call-up. Maybe the Suffolk players come from bigger clubs and maybe we are seen as unfashionable but no scouts have been watching us which is surprising."
Hammond was helped in Tattingstone's 46-run victory with useful contributions from Ian Connell and Mark Sproats who were both dismissed just before registering half centuries. The win was sealed after a spell of 5 for 64 from Steve Bell including the key wicket of Wivenhoe opener John Garnham who had made 61.
Tattingstone have only dropped one point from their two completed matches and lie just behind leaders Halstead who were without a match this weekend.
Tattingstone finished fourth last season but Chris Bell insists his side could go all the way this time around. "I think we have a very good chance of at least making the top three this year," said Bell.
"Our batting is as good as anything in the division and we have a bigger squad and our better players will be available more than they were last year. Everyone can bat and bowl and we are a team of all rounders where everyone chips in."
Bell is quick to praise his batsmen who have laid the foundations for the club's recent good run.
He said: "We are always likely to get a good start as we have attacking opening batsmen like Hammond and Ian Connell who joined us this year from Felixstowe.
"Then we have someone like Mark Sproats who can be a massive player for us. He can take the game away from the opposition with his explosive hitting and he scored his 47 against Wivenhoe very quickly."
Elsewhere, reigning champions Exning are showing they will be fighting for the title again as they recorded their second big success in a row.
They started the season with a disappointing eight-wicket defeat at Copdock but have since responded with a nine-wicket win over Browns and a 103 run victory over Mistley on Saturday.
They made a massive 301 for six thanks to 109 from Tim Catley and 58 from Dave Monk before bowling out Mistley for 198 with Catley getting three of the wickets.
Browns' miserable start to the campaign continued as they registered their third successive defeat this time at home to Bury St Edmunds. Set a target of 137 to win, Browns struggled against the bowling of Darrin Steward and Russell Green and only managed 53 runs from 40 overs and one ball.
Browns' overseas player Brendan Meagher had taken four wickets earlier in the match and the Australian was their only batsman to later reach double figures. Steward ended with impressive figures of 3 for 15 from 17 overs and after earlier defeats against Exning and Mistley, Browns could have a tough season in front of
They stay off the bottom of the table due to Braintree having a weekend off.
In the other Division One match, last year's runners up Copdock & O.I suffered their first league defeat of the season with a five run loss at home to Sudbury.
Chasing 142 to win, a score of 73 from opener Tim Percival should have been enough to lead them to
victory but a late batting collapse handed it to Sudbury. Five Copdock players ended without scoring a run and Sudbury's victory was largely down to bowler Andy Simmons who removed seven of the Copdock
This weekend also saw the start of the Sunday Challenge with victories for Frinton, Maldon, Mistley, Exning, Copdock & O.I, Harwich & D and Wivenhoe.
Exning's Tim Catley was the star performer as he hit 100 in their six-wicket victory against Worlington for his second ton in two days and third in two weeks.