Dunmow’s poor run of form in the second half of the season continued with a sixth successive loss to a Copford side that had been defeated in the early part of the season.

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On a damp wicket, Dunmow were inserted and got off to a solid if unspectacular start, 24 added for the first wicket through openers Josh Down and Luke Swanston.

Down was to prove the rock of the innings, batting for the whole 45 overs and allowing others to score runs around him, while he put away the bad ball with aplomb, compiling a chanceless 85 not out in the process.

Significant other contributions were made my Josh Rix (23), adding 55 for the sixth wicket with Down and by Matt Gibson who struck 24 from 10 balls, including 22 from the final over to leave Dunmow at 180 at tea. R Measer was the pick of the Copford bowlers, claiming 3-33 from 13 overs.

The Copford reply got off to a poor start, as Gibson claimed A Bell lbw for one in the fourth over.

J Bell and I Caffrey did a good job of rebuilding, and exploited anything short to take advantage of a very short boundary on one side of the ground.

The 14th and 16th overs provided the turning points, as first Gibson dropped J Bell from a caught and bowled chance although later in the same over he had Caffrey LBW and then, in the 16th over, had new man Simpson dropped at short mid wicket before he had scored.

With J Bell going on to make 66 and Simpson making 54, their partnership effectively won the game for Copford. Down (9-0-38-3) and Rix (5.1-0-31-1) took late wickets and gained Dunmow additional bowling points which in a relegation dog fight could prove crucial. Gibson finished with figures of 12-1-53-2.

On Saturday Dunmow travel to near rivals Brockley in a genuine must win game.

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