Woolpit back on top as sides swap places again

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WOOLPIT and Mildenhall are going head-to-head in a topsy-turvy battle for the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One title.

Just nine points separate the pair, with Woolpit returning to the summit at the weekend thanks to their demolition of bottom side Exning and Mildenhall’s abandoned fixture at home to Coggeshall.

The pair are bidding for the right to face the winners of other regional leagues and play-off for a place in the East Anglian Premier League (EAPL), where they will join the likes of Bury St Edmunds, who host Horsford in the area’s highest level of club cricket tomorrow (10.30am).

Woolpit’s South African-born Italian international Andy Northcote, part of a full-strength side to face Coggeshall tomorrow (12.30pm), said: “Mildenhall have been lucky with the rain.

“Our win on Saturday was the second time we’ve managed to win while every other side got rained off.

“We want to go up to the EAPL, but whether we are ready or not is a different matter.”

Woolpit end their season with a home game against mid-table Maldon on September 8 before travelling to second-bottom Lakenheath on September 15 – with Mildenhall set to face two of those sides.

Hall travel to Maldon tomorrow (12.30pm), host Lakenheath on September 8 before ending their campaign at fourth-place Frinton on September 15.

Skipper Steve Lankester said: “We need three completed wins and hope Woolpit slip up somewhere in their three games.”

Meanwhile, Brockley need a strong end to the season to secure survival in Division Two.

Currently rooted to the foot of the standings, Brockley host relegation rivals Abberton tomorrow (12.30pm) and Brightlingsea the following Saturday before their season’s finale at Easton on September 15.

Mildenhall II are also in danger in the division, but have a 25-point cushion over the bottom three.

Stowmarket have already lost their Division Three status thanks to a miserable run of just one win in 14 matches, and look set to be replaced by Needham Market, who currently head up Division Four.

Market travel to Ipswich & ES II tomorrow (12.30pm) hoping to maintain their one point lead over Frinton II at the summit.

Chasing a promotion spot in the top three are Woolpit II, who are just four points shy of their target ahead of a blank weekend.

An inconsistent season appears to have robbed Mildenhall III of the chance to earn promotion from Division Five, but they end with three home matches, against St Margarets tomorrow (12.30pm), Maldon II on September 8 and Harwich & Dovercourt on September 15.

At the other end of the table, second-bottom Bury St Edmunds III will be hoping for victory over Kelvedon & Feering II tomorrow to boost their survival hopes.

Mildenhall IV are embroiled in a tight relegation battle in Division Six, with 10 points separating five teams down to second-bottom Braintree II.

Hall – who are two points clear of the bottom three – must win their final match of the campaign at Ipswich III tomorrow (12.30pm) to guarantee safety.

Stowmarket II have crashed out of 
Division Seven with just two victories to their name all campaign.

In Division Eight West, Elveden lead the pack, three points clear of Nowton and a further eight ahead of Walsham-le-Willows, who have two matches in hand.

Willows host Elveden in a potential title-decider at Summer Road while Nowton welcome Brockley II to Overway Meadow, both tomorrow (12.30pm).

Bury St Edmunds Ladies are top of the Two Counties Twenty 20 League, 1.37 average points ahead of Maldon having played three matches less.