Cricket round-up: Sudbury celebrate winning the EAPL while Haverhill are relegated

East Anglian Premier League champions Sudbury celebrate with their trophy at Friars Street, after their home match with Swardeston was abandoned due to the weather Picture: Richard Marsham

The weather played havoc with the final day of Saturday's cricket league season, but it could not rain on Sudbury's parade as The Talbots carried off the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) title for the first time in their history.

It was the first time the EAPL had come down to a first versus second shootout to decide the destiny of the title, with hosts Sudbury, who had led the league for almost the entirety of the campaign, only requiring four points from the 25 on offer to be crowned champions.

A wet wicket meant the start was delayed twice before an agreement players would have lunch first and start a reduced 32-over contest at 2.30pm, to allow the pitch to dry out properly.

But, despite Sudbury winning the toss and electing to bowl, play never got started as more heavy rain came down, leading the umpires to abandon the match and thus give Sudbury the points they needed to win the league.

It ended Swardeston's five consecutive titles and meant Sudbury completed the league and cup double, having won the Suffolk T20 Cup for the first time in their history at Bury St Edmunds last Sunday.

Elswhere, Bury St Edmunds knew they were safe from relegation ahead of their final day game at home to Cambridge Granta, with no team capable of winning one of the three feeder leagues wanting to go up. But The Victory Ground side were still out to ensure they did not finish bottom of the table, having started the day one place above Horsford and only requiring five points to guarantee it remained that way.

Bury won the toss and elected to bowl first, with the visitors reaching 204-7 from 43.5 overs before the heavy rain caused the game to be abandoned.

The seven points to each side meant Bury St Edmunds finished the season second-from-bottom, following Horsford's points deduction for a dangerous wicket earlier in the campaign.

Mildenhall ended their first campaign since promotion in the EAPL at home to Burwell in a local derby. But they also saw the rain force an abandonment, with the visitors on 66-2 from 18 overs, leaving Mildenhall 9th in the table and Burwell a few points above them in 8th.

In the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship there was a pivotal match to decide who got relegated from Division One as Haverhill hosted Worlington.

Haverhill went into the final day in the relegation zone but within eight points of the safety of third-from-bottom, occupied by Worlington.

With both sides knowing a victory would almost certainly ensure survival, it had been set up for a thrilling finale.

But the wet weather saw to the game being abandoned, meaning it is Haverhill who end the season in the bottom two and are relegated to Division Two, pending any late reprieves.

* For reaction to the final day and league positions at the end of it, see next week's papers.

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