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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Tattingstone among the big boys

PUBLISHED: 11:46 10 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

CRICKET: Tattingstone re-wrote the record books when they won the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship this season.

The last Tattingstone population count amounted to just 470, much less than the only other two villages to have won the Two Counties title, Exning and Mistley.

TATTINGSTONE re-wrote the record books when they won the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship this season.

The last Tattingstone population count amounted to just 470, much less than the only other two villages to have won the Two Counties title, Exning and Mistley.

Since the league was formed in 1971 the winners have otherwise come from Ipswich, Colchester, Clacton, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Halstead, Maldon and Coggeshall.

Tattingstone captain Chris Bell is rightfully proud. "To think that we have topped the charts with a village our size is fantastic," he said.

It was Bell who scored 80 runs as Tattingstone chased 253 to beat Exning by seven wickets in the deciding league match.

He puts the club's rise to the top down to the arrival of prolific batsman Adrian Stockton in the mid-nineties.

"Up until then we were more or less a traditional village side, playing against sides from similar backgrounds," said Bell.

"We gained promotion from the Third Division, and then the Second in 2000. Last year we finished fourth in the First Division, and began this season hoping to emulate that."

Bell, who has been with Tattingstone for ten years, gives a great deal of the credit to opening batting pair Stuart Hammond and Ian Connell, plus pace bowler Gavin Driver.

"Stuart and Ian have won us a lot of games on their own. They have both enjoyed exceptional seasons. I feel pleased for Stuart because he is an unassuming character who was put under pressure when his name was put in the frame for a Suffolk place.

"He has proved his critics wrong. And a few eyebrows were raised when Ian moved to us from Felixstowe last winter. Ian has shown that he has what it takes to become a star in the top company.

"And Gavin's bowling has come on in leaps and bounds this summer. He has played a vital part in our success.

"With Darshan Shivalkar and Stuart we have had quality spin bowling, and I shall be looking for a good second seamer for the 2003 campaign. Then we will have an attack to fear."

Student Shivalkar has returned to his studies in his native India and is unlikely to return next year, but Bell confirmed that Tattingstone will be searching for another overseas player.

"Darshan did well as being away from home for five months with no job is not easy," said Bell, who is quietly confident that Tattingstone will be able to keep the rest of this year's side.

They have submitted a business proposal to the Lottery authorities and await a reply. When they know where they stand they will start to plan an extension to their clubhouse.

"Hopefully we will have facilities that meet the requirements of the East Anglian Premier League in a couple of years, and can then look to move further up the cricketing ladder," continued 26-year-old Bell, whose bowling brother Stephen has been missing for much of the season with a back injury.

Long-serving players like Nigel Parmenter, Chris Chittock and John Bartrum have played their part along with Steve Porter who made some vital contributions in the final weeks of the season.

Hammond was picked up from Essex village side Eight Ash Green before the start of last season and if Bell can unearth another gem the chances of retaining the title will be high.

"Nobody tipped us this year. It will be different when the 2003 season starts," said Bell. "This will make our task harder but we are looking forward to the challenge."

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