Title race still open

Cricket: TATTINGSTONE suffered only their second league defeat of the season to keep the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One title race alive.If Tattingstone had beaten Sudbury then they would have all but wrapped up their first ever league championship.

TATTINGSTONE suffered only their second league defeat of the season to keep the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One title race alive.

If Tattingstone had beaten Sudbury then they would have all but wrapped up their first ever league championship.

Sudbury batted first and Tattingstone seemed to be in control when Sudbury openers Simon Halliday and Pete Seigert departed early on. It took 67 from Anthony Chapman and 39 from Al Younger for Sudbury to set a competitive total of 213 for nine.

Gavin Driver was the pick of the Tattingstone bowlers with four for 60 as Tattingstone looked to their impressive batting line up to secure another win.

However, 47 from Stuart Hammond and 61 from Indian Darshan Shivalkar weren't enough as Tattingstone fell 16 runs short of their target and Sudbury moved up to second.

Copdock and Old Ipswichian were in that position but failed to capitalise on Tattingstone's defeat. They were playing Bury St Edmunds seconds who had only won once before Saturday. Bury put their previous bad form behind them as they beat Copdock by six wickets to move off the bottom of the table. Tim Percival top scored for Copdock with 39 but it was not enough as Bury easily reached their target.

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Tattingstone still have a large average advantage over the chasing pack but Sudbury, Copdock and even Mistley in fourth will still be confident they could be caught.

Mistley stayed in contention with a narrow two-wicket win at Halstead thanks to Jon Douvlos who took five wickets then scored 52.

Exning won the title last year but their chances of regaining it realistically disappeared on Saturday when they lost to an inconsistent Browns side.

Exning have already lost five times and with only seven games left it looks like they won't repeat the success of last season.

Browns tore through Exning's batting line-up with only Matt Catley providing any resistance with 33 as John Manning took six wickets. Despite losing captain Martyn Kidd early on, Browns never looked in trouble and they comfortably won after scores of 34 from Neil Perry and an unbeaten 26 from Brendan Meagher.

Braintree lost at home to Wivenhoe as they fell back to the bottom of the table and they will have a struggle to maintain their Division One status.

Ipswich and East Suffolk returned to the top of Division Two as they look to make a swift return to the higher division. In a frustrating season for I.E.S. which has seen them only play seven times they have only lost once and moved above Coggeshall on Saturday.

Bowling performance of the weekend surely has to go to Mike Smith who took seven for 36 off 21.2 overs as I.E.S contained Elmstead Grasshoppers to 86. I.E.S. made hard work of their run-chase but an unbeaten 55 from Greg Rice saw them home with three wickets remaining.

Easton gained an expected victory against lowly Worlington but would not have expected them to come within 44 runs of their 272 target.

In Division Three Harwich and Dovercourt and Woolpit should finish in the top two as they have broken away from the chasing pack. They now both have an average over three and a half more than Haverhill in third place after wins against Brockley and St Margaret's respectively.

Division Four remains the tighest of the leagues with any one of the top six still in with a realistic shout of coming top. Achilles are currently in that position and gained a valuable win by six wickets against Clacton. East Bergholt are third following a two-wicket success against Sudbury thanks to an inspired spell of bowling Hinchcliffe who picked up a hat-trick in his seven wicket haul.

The Sunday Challenge turned into a farce this weekend when four of the seven scheduled games didn't take place and the future of this much-criticised competition looks to be in doubt.

In the action there was, Browns completed a good weekend for them with an eight run victory at home to Mistley. John Manning sealed a good two days as he took four wickets while Maldon were too strong for Tattingstone.

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