Tattingstone going for double

CRICKET: Tattingstone could move into a near-uncatchable position if they beat struggling Braintree tomorrow.They sit clear at the top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One table and will fully expect to beat a Braintree side who have only won three times this season.


TATTINGSTONE could move into a near-uncatchable position if they beat struggling Braintree tomorrow.

They sit clear at the top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One table and will fully expect to beat a Braintree side who have only won three times this season.

After two recent defeats against Sudbury and Wivenhoe, Tattingstone's position had come under threat, but a comfortable seven-wicket win against Halstead saw them stay clear of the chasing pack.

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They hold a big advantage over their nearest rivals and it appears to be a battle between Mistley, Sudbury, Copdock and Old Ipswichians and in-form Wivenhoe to see who will take second place.

As Tattingstone cannot move up to the East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) there is still a lot to play for as the second-placed side could have a chance of going up.

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The winners of the Two Counties along with those from the Cambridgeshire Vardi League and the Norfolk Alliance go into an end-of-season play-off, while the bottom side in the EAPL would return to its feeder league.

However, Cambridge Granta seconds are top of the Cambridgeshire League and could not go into the EAPL due to their first team already in that competition.

Great Yarmouth are top of the Norfolk Alliance but they also cannot go into the higher league as they do not meet the necessary criteria.

If Tattingstone, Cambridge Granta seconds and Great Yarmouth win their respective leagues then the teams in second place from those three leagues, if they want to, would enter the play-offs and the winner would meet the bottom side in the EAPL.

It is also complicated regarding how many teams are relegated from Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties and this depends on who finishes bottom of the EAPL.

The only guarantee at this stage is the team finishing last in Division One will go down. If either Bury St Edmunds, Maldon or Mildenhall end up bottom of the EAPL and lose the subsequent play-off they would be playing Two Counties cricket next season.

This would mean at least two teams would be relegated from Division One, but if one of these three sides go down and no-one from the Two Counties move into the EAPL then three sides from Division One would therefore have to drop into Division Two.

It all means that any club must finish no lower than seventh to be certain of staying in their current division.

Browns, currently one from bottom, will have a tough task tomorrow at Wivenhoe who have won six of their last seven matches. Browns are under strength side as they are without captain Martyn Kidd, influential bowler Charlie Sadler and batsman Matt Perry (all on holiday). Ed Flather is still recovering from a broken thumb while Tim Debenham has work commitments.

Browns and Tattingstone have a busy weekend as they will be in Senior Cup semi-finals action on Sunday.

Browns were runners-up in last year's competition and have a tough task ahead of them as they face cup holders Clacton who are second in the EAPL.

Tattingstone will be more confident of causing a shock against Maldon and will be hopeful they can become the first Suffolk side to win the Senior Cup in its seven-year history Division Two leaders Ipswich and East Suffolk can take a big step towards promotion tomorrow when they face

second-placed Coggeshall.

These two teams have a big points advantage over Easton who have to win most of their remaining games to avoid finishing in third place for the second successive season.

Easton are not playing on Saturday but entertain Halstead in the semi-finals of the Senior Plate competition on Sunday.

There is another top of the table clash in Division Three when second-placed Woolpit could move to the summit if they beat leaders Harwich and Dovercourt.

Achilles are top of Division Four and should stay there as they are at home to Sudbury seconds who are one off bottom.

Copdock and Old Ipswichian seconds have had a miserable season and are bottom of Division Four but still have a chance of winning some silverware.

They face Maldon seconds (top of Division Five) in the last four of the Junior Plate and if they win will meet either Kelvedon and Feering seconds or Cavendish Wanderers in the final.

In Division Five Browns seconds, who will have lost several players to their first team, play Long Melford seconds. It is a crucial game as both are near the relegation zone. Ipswich and East Suffolk seconds look safe from this, but too far away to catch the top two, play Kelvedon and Feering.

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