Bury and Woolpit still looking over their shoulders after derby draw
Bury St Edmunds 270-4 dec
drew with Woolpit 209-7
Both Bury and Woolpit continue to look anxiously over their shoulders towards the bottom of the table after this draw at the Victory Ground.
With basement boys Horsford winning only their second game of the season, against Norwich, a share of the derby spoils was the last thing either of these two teams wanted.
Woolpit are now only five points clear of Horsford, with Bury a further 18 points clear of bottom spot.
The hosts won the toss and decided to bat first against their rivals.
There was a welcome return too for Phil Godden, who opened the Bury batting with 64.
When Ben Curran was out LBW to James Holmes for 27 with the score on 61, the openers had done their job, seeing the shine off the ball for Daron Cruickshank to stride to the crease full of menacing intent.
Bury’s recently-recruited overseas player got off the mark with a crisp cover drive for four.
At lunch, Bury were on 141-1 and were set to press on against the Woolpit spinners towards a commanding total.
Godden was then run-out trying to force the pace.
Mike Comber came to the crease and, as well as some characteristically mighty blows, also showed a deft touch, playing that rare shot, the late cut, although he later holed out at long-on, unselfishly chasing runs.
At the declaration, Cruickshank walked off to a standing ovation with an undefeated 136 and Bury were in a strong position at 270-4.
Mark Nunn and Tom Robotham began the defence of the total and Robotham had Karl Holmes caught by the ever-maturing wicket-keeper Max Whittaker for just one run.
However, Will Parker and Alex Oxley began to build a partnership which showed both patience and maturity.
This partnership took the team through the interval and past the 100 mark, and gave Woolpit hope of an unexpected victory.
Oxley was out leg-before-wicket for an excellent 43, and despite good contributions from Ocky Erasmus and Josh Cantrell, the scoring rate proved too much and Woolpit settled in for a draw.
There were a couple of late wickets which gave Bury hope of a victory, but Woolpit held out to finish 209-7.
The excellent Cruickshank backed up his batting performance by taking 4-40 with the ball
Tomorrow, Bury travel to Vauxhall Mallards while Woolpit entertain Copdock and Old Ipswichian (11am).
n Bury Greene King Players of the Week: Daron Cruickshank, Phil Godden, Vivek Rajagopal.