Opening day drama as Copdock game tied

COPDOCK and Old Ipswichians played out a dramatic draw with Coggeshall on their return to Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties in a match that saw a hat-trick, almost 600 runs and crucial last-ball wicket.

COPDOCK and Old Ipswichians played out a dramatic draw with Coggeshall on their return to Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties in a match that saw a hat-trick, almost 600 runs and crucial last-ball wicket.

Last year's run away Division Two champions won the toss and amassed 286 for nine, David Draper opening the batting with a solid 40.

Batting at three and four, new additions Chris Swallow and Tristan Jervis scored rapid knocks of 74 and 79 respectively.

In addition, there were decent contributions throughout the team for the remainder of the opening innings, James East scoring 30 and David Shorten 25.

Coggeshall's Adrian Stockton took a hat-trick with the final three balls of the Copdock innings to give his side a fighting chance, although with Copdock's bowling attack including five players with minor counties experience the match looked very much in favour of the hosts.

The Essex side made the start they required when Sam Blackwell recorded a quickfire 79, but two wickets in two balls from captain John East swung the game back Copdock's way.

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Coggeshall continued to score at a decent rate as John East and Swallow picked up four wickets apiece. Heading into the final three overs Coggeshall needed 37 with two wickets left.

Batting at 10, G Blackwell racked up 52 in next to no time before he was excellently caught by James East in the penultimate over, leaving Coggeshall requiring four to win from the final over with one wicket left.

The visitors then levelled the scores with three leg byes off the next three balls before Bardo Fransman tied the game by trapping the last batsman lbw.

Vice captain James East said: “To be honest we are slightly disappointed not to have won the game. With the side we have put together we are disappointed not to have been able to defend that score.

“Their lad at the end (G Blackwell) had one of those days that he probably never have again, but we took 15 points from the match and that's not a bad start.

“This match was a good advert for local cricket and it looks like Division One is getting back to the way it was two or three years ago with five or six decent sides.

“We have Mistley next weekend and it looks like Halstead breezed past them so hopefully we can restart our season against them.”

Elsewhere in Division One, Halstead beat Mistley by two wickets, Mildenhall easily chased down 225 for a six-wicket win against Brightlingsea, while Sudbury's first innings of 232 was 44 runs too much for Ipswich and East Suffolk.

Youngsters Andrew Shufflebotham and Jordan Beaumont steered St Margaret's to a thrilling one-wicket win in their Division Four match at Worlington.

The home side had posted 229 for eight following a century stand between Matt Bacon and Paul Simmons, with Nigel Howlett taking four for 44.

A third wicket-stand of 114 in 15 overs between Lawrence Wilmington (63) and Robert White (53) put the Ipswich-based side on course for victory but they then lost six wickets for 17 runs.

However, Beaumont (15no) and Shufflebotham (46no) added the 59 needed to win with the latter hitting a four and a six off the last over from Darren Hayward to see them home with three balls to spare.

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