Aythorpe Roding and High Roding see title hopes take a blow with defeats
- Credit: DANNY LOO
The title challenges of both Aythorpe Roding and High Roding in the Mid-Essex Cricket League took a big hit as they prepare for the final run-in.
Aythorpe Roding lost by five wickets to Old Chelmsfordians in the Premier Division, a defeat which coupled with victory for Rayleigh, their nearest rivals, means they are now 57 points behind with only two games to go.
It was a shock win for the visitors who had just one to their name when they arrived at the Bill Reeve Pavilion.
Home skipper Paul Gravatt won the toss and elected to bat first and they ended on 179, 45 from Sam Gravatt early in the innings before a stubborn finish from the tail, Neil Culleton scoring 33 and getting good support from Ian Bryant and his 18.
The hosts claimed an early wicket but the top order batsmen of Chelmsfordians were in good form and they reached the winning target of 180 in the 45th over.
Graham Milbank was the main bowler for Ayhtorpe Roding with 3-44.
They will confirm second place if they beat third-placed Tillingham on Saturday.
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High Roding meanwhile are still very much in the title race in the Second Division but it is now out of their hands after a 25-run loss to Ingatestone & Freyerning at The Meadow.
With just two games to go they have now dropped to second, seven points behind new leaders Terling who beat Galleywood.
Ingatestone had set Roding a tough score to beat with 233-8 in their 45 overs, Tommy Roy top-scoring with 74 and Glen Smith adding 57.
For Roding Simon James, making a rare appearance, took 2-25 and Archie Halls 2-32.
And the home side didn't make the best of starts with both Jeff Clarke and Steve Molloy falling cheaply.
Alex Lodge (26) and George Halls (44) repaired some of the damage and an onslaught from William Davis (54) gave them hope.
But it was not to be with first Davis and then Archie Halls falling to catches on the long-on boundary to leave Roding all out for 208 in the last over.
There was better news for the seconds though as their win at Burnham not only secured promotion from the Seventh Division but should see them crowned as champions too.
Roding scored 219-8 with 44 from Harry Warners and Freddie Duke's 41 the best of some good scores.
In reply Burnham were all out for 198, Guy Morley-Jacob taking 3-27 and Henry Willis 3-41.
There was a mixed bag of results for Dunmow too.
The first team lost by 148 runs in Division Two of the Two Counties Championship at Copford.
The hosts were their usual aggressive selves as they made 277-8 in their 45 overs, Mel Hussain's four wickets standing out for the visitors.
But Dunmow's reply got off to the worst possible start when Luke Swanston was dismissed with the first ball of the innings and that set the tone for the remainder.
William Pascoe's 42 and 22 from Hussain were the best they could muster as they finished all out for 129.
The second team though are still very much in the hunt for promotion from Division Six after a nine-wicket home win over Worlingworth.
Dunmow were in the wickets early and kept going throughout to dismiss them for 95. Jamie McLaughlin, Jan Gilbert and Martin Callingham all got two each while Jet Sperling picked up three.
The reply was quick and ruthless with Vinay Menon (24) the only man out and Ryan Johnson (29*) and Ieuan Bush (33*) the men to take them over the line and place them second in the table.
The club are celebrating their 125th anniversary and begin their extended cricket week with a visit from a touring side before events such as a T20 finals day, junior cricket camps and a special hundred game against a select XI from local clubs and special guests.
Details can be found at www.dunmowcricketclub.co.uk