Gap closed at top of the table as Aythorpe Roding claim victory
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Aythrorpe Roding have closed the gap to Rayleigh at the top of the Mid Essex Cricket League Premier Division to just one point after victory at Great Totham.
Rayleigh also won, beating Great Baddow, but they claimed just 22 points in contrast to Roding's 24.
It was a close run thing though with Aythorpe's margin of success just 18 runs.
The hosts won the toss and elected to field first and it was Sam Gravatt's arrival that helped push the score on after 19 for the first wicket.
He went on to score 50 ,Graham Milbank added 36 and skipper Paul Gravatt, batting at number eight, managed 29 runs as Aythorpe Roding reached 176-9 in 45 overs.
They claimed an early wicket in reply when Neil Culleton had Sam Bowan caught by Tom Wharton for a duck but Totham were looking good at 149-5.
But the wheels came off in a hurry and the final five wickets were claimed for the loss of just nine runs, leaving them all out for 158.
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Spinner Ian Bryant was the main reason with 4-19 in seven overs but Cullerton also added 2-40, Andy Clarke 2-45 and James Woodmore 2-7.
Roding host fourth-placed Stock on Saturday.
High Roding enjoyed a good day with wins for both the first and second teams.
The ones were at home to Springfield in the Second Division and cruised to a nine-wicket success.
The visitors opted to bat first but the Roding bowlers got stuck in from the off and by the end of the innings, which came in 44 overs, Springfield had made just 97.
Skipper Sam South led from the front with 6-14 in 10 overs, three of them maidens, and there was one wicket each for William Davis, Freddie Burns, Archie Halls and Jeff Clarke.
The made a poor start in reply, losing Steve Molloy early, but Jeff Clarke (54) and George Halls (44) soon put the result to bed in the 25th over and with leaders Terling having their game cancelled, Roding are now just 14 points behind in second place.
Roding are at home on Saturday to East Hanningfield.
The second team's win came against Rankins who could only manage 88 batting first.
Amit Tuluskar bagged three wickets with Jack Letchfield, Adrian Nelson and Mark Gilfrin managed two wickets each.
Gilfrin then scored 52 and Alex Lodge 28 as Roding got home in the 27th over. They go to to second-placed Epping Foresters next.
Dunmow had a free week in the 11-team Two Counties League Division Two and they now sit eighth with bottom club Frinton-on-Sea the visitors on Saturday.
They did play a friendly though, beating Thorley by 175 runs on Sunday.
William Pascoe got 61, Sam Mixture 57 and Kyle Johnson 54 as they made 243 and the reply from Thorley ended with just 68.
Jet Sperling took 3-19 and Jamie Rosewall 2-8.