Suffolk in farcical C&G Trophy exit

SUFFOLK made a rather farcical exit from the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy.They were fairly and squarely beaten by Glamorgan at the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

SUFFOLK made a rather farcical exit from the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy.

They were fairly and squarely beaten by Glamorgan at the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

No great surprise in that, but to still be batting at 8.40pm against a first class county that won the totesport League last season was a gloomy way to end their association with the C&G competition.

No Minor County sides will be allowed in next year - leaving Suffolk to reflect on many fine matches in the competition and their final one that ended in darkness.

Glamorgan rushed back to Wales this morning for a county championship game tomorrow, no doubt pleased to have dispensed with the necessity of using up some of the second allocated day.

To do this they needed to bowl their 50 overs in under two-and-a-half hours, using a succession of spinners for the last hour as it began to get very gloomy.

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To be fair, on a bitterly cold day it was lighter at 7.45pm than it was at 3pm when Glamorgan opened their innings after being put in by Suffolk skipper Phil Caley.

But soon after the match descended into farce watched by a few dozen diehards after the great majority of the original 1,000 plus crowd had long sought the warmth of the homes.

One over from Ian Thomas took just 30 seconds and Trevor Smith's score of 37 that included two sixes was rightly described by former Suffolk captain and match adjudicator Mark Bailey as a 'nocturnal knock'.

Suffolk would surely have had any appeal against the light upheld, although the umpires seemed determined to get a decision on the day, despite 8pm being the accepted latest finishing time.

Chris Warn was the only Suffolk batsman to show any resistance while overseas batsmen Lou Vincent and Doug Watson failed to live up to their star billing, although the former was caught behind off a splendid delivery and the latter looked unlucky to given out leg before.

Suffolk had no realistic chance of winning after Glamorgan had batted well with Australian test batsman Matthew Elliott completing his hundred in the 50th over.

The visitors, who were professional from the off, scored 14 off the first over when Andrew McGarry took a while to find his length.

Paul King, bowling into a strong head wind, took the first wicket before Trevor Smith came on at the other end for an excellent spell.

When Glamorgan were 133 for four after 23 overs there was some hope for Suffolk. However, slowly but surely Elliott took up the initiative, benefiting from being put down by Caley off Vincent's bowling when the Aussie had 38 in the 39th over.

Caley also dropped Mark Wallace off Smith, with the last two Glamorgan partnerships putting on 90 and an unbeaten 97. Elliott's century took 104 balls with one six and ten fours.

Suffolk's bowlers stuck to their task, with spinner Chris Swallow better value than his figures show after a frustrating delay caused by drizzle that arrived around 20 minutes before the original 10.45am start time.

Suffolk will be better prepared for their Minor Counties KO Cup match at March against Cambridgeshire on Sunday week after this fine exhibition by Glamorgan.

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