New season joy for the Rodings but Dunmow suffer narrow loss

Luke Swanston of Dunmow Cricket Club

Luke Swanston was in fine form with the bat for Dunmow Cricket Club. - Credit: DUNMOW CC

The start of the new cricket season brought joy for two and a narrow defeat for another.

Aythorpe Roding began with victory at Little Baddow, the five-wicket success coming thanks to some solid bowling and fielding to keep the hosts in check before cutting loose with the bat.

Baddow finished all out for 173 but Roding made short work of the chase, reaching their target in the 31st over.

They utilised seven bowlers to keep on top of the home side, Graham Milbank claiming 3-30 while Neil Culleton (2-25), Ian Bryant (2-24) and Danny Elsworth (2-32) got two wickets each.

Andy Clarke took the other and there were good, if barren, spells from Luke Wharton and Jack Stevens.

They lost an early wicket but that was just a small speed-bump on the road to victory and Sam Gravatt's unbeaten 70, containing 13 fours, was key to the quick victory.

He had good support though from Clarke (28), Steve Chambers (25) and skipper Paul Gravatt (26). 

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The result leaves third in the early table with a home game against Great Totham on Saturday.

High Roding also opened with a victory, beating Terling by five wickets in a thrilling finish to their Division Two game.

The winning shot was played to the penultimate ball of the contest, Freddie Burns running two moments after hitting a four to secure the victory.

Chris Townsend (44) and George Halls (59) had starred with a great third-wicket partnership as the run-rate never got away from them.

Earlier, Terling had made 229-7 with Burns the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3-32 in his 10-over spell, with two wickets each for Archie Halls and Kit Morley-Jacob.

There was another thriller in Division Two of the Two Counties League, although this one saw Dunmow come out on the wrong side of the result.

Playing away at Frinton they had batted first, something that had seemed to be a risky decision considering their opening game of the season had seen them amass just 72.

However, skipper Paul Reid's decision proved to be bang on the money as openers Luke Swanston and Joe Gallant took full advantage of the flat track.

They put on a wonderful 157 before the latter holed out for a well-made 75.

It proved to be the only wicket with Swanston's disciplined approach taking him to an unbeaten 120, while also allowing Stuart Felstead to play his shots, earning him a rapid 60 not out.

It was a score that Dunmow felt that would be a challenging total and it very nearly was challenging enough.

It remained good for batting but Dunmow were also careless and 50 extras were coughed up as the bowlers struggled to adjust to the new leg-side wide rule.

Frinton still needed 90 from the last 10 overs but a rapid 36 not out from Alfie Wells got the hosts across the line with three balls to spare and six wickets in hand.

Matt Gibson took two wickets for Dunmow who go to Elmstead Market next.