Caught in the middle with Ron Raisey: Points deduction adds dramatic end to season

UMPIRE DUTIES: Ron Raisey
UMPIRE DUTIES: Ron Raisey

A rain affected weekend saw Mildenhall clinch promotion to the East Anglian Premier League when they comprehensively beat Hadleigh in the only Division One game to finish. No need for a play-off as the winners of both the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire leagues didn’t want to go up.

Hadleigh batted first, scoring 175, with Luke Istead top scoring with 73 backed up by Tom Piddington 49.

In reply, Mildenhall suffered early setbacks with the loss of Steve Taylor (0) and Joe Reed (18) but soon reached their target for the loss of just three wickets, reaching 177-3 thanks to Luke Youngs 79no and Ben Shepperson 67.

Halstead made 163 against Worlington, Mark Johnson 31 and Harry Veal 31 their main scorers, Ben Hyde 4-29 and Craig Woollard 3-25 the pick of the Worlington bowlers.

In reply, Worlington made 58-1 before the rain came, Hyde 23, Richard Ford 21no.

Haverhill travelled to Wivenhoe where they allowed their hosts to accumulate 260-8 thanks mainly to some indifferent bowling and poor fielding, although the hard and uneven outfield may have had something to do with that.

The bowlers tried their best with Joe Woodley the best of the bunch taking 2-26, assisted by Dan Pass 2-40 and Anthony Phillips 2-50.

In reply, Haverhill lost a couple of early wickets before the skipper Adam Dellar hit a quick-fire 28 before he skied a catch, and it was 59-3 when rain brought an end to the proceedings.

In Division Two, Exning got a much-needed win over Long Melford by seven wickets, which pushed their visitors down into the second relegation spot below Lakenheath. Long Melford 134, Cameron Stace 49, Daniel Baigent 5-25, Oakley Colby 3-6. Exning 138-3, Tim Catley 54, Kent Tomsett 39no.

Lakenheath played local rivals Mildenhall II and were well on the way to victory when the heavens opened.

Mildenhall 145, Jack Loveday 52, Andy Youngs 34, Danny Rodic 5-39, Tim Milner 3-28, Adam Horrex 2-26. In reply, Lakenheath were 81-2, Rob Horrex 49, Shane Leech 27no.

This coming Saturday sees the final matches of the season.

In Division One, Mildenhall finish off their highly successful season with a trip to Haverhill, Worlington visit Mistley, while Hadleigh entertain Frinton II, and Halstead are at home to Wivenhoe.

The big game in Division Two is at Long Melford where Lakenheath are the visitors while Exning welcome Clacton as their visitors.

The talk of the clubhouses this week will undoubtedly be the decision of the league management sub committee to dock Coggeshall 77 points for breaching the rule on overseas players.

They have seven days in which to appeal, but if it is not overturned then Hadleigh, who would have been relegated after losing to Mildenhall, will suddenly find themselves third bottom, having really dodged the bullet.

There is a strong possibility that Woolpit could be relegated from the EAPL, which would still leave us with five local teams in the top division of the Two Counties, but sadly it looks like we will lose two from Division Two.