Woolpit provide a masterclass to beat bottom-placed Braintree

RAPID FIRE: James Deeley hit 96 not out off 74 balls to leave skipper Will Parker very happy
RAPID FIRE: James Deeley hit 96 not out off 74 balls to leave skipper Will Parker very happy
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Braintree (240) lost to

Woolpit (299-3)

by 59 runs

Woolpit produced a batting masterclass against victory-strapped Braintree to leave them secure in third-place in the league, according to the team’s captain.

Every batsman for the visiting side reached their half-century in the 59-run victory over bottom-placed Braintree, with James Deeley the pick of the big hitters as he finished on an unbeaten 96 off just 74 balls.

And, with only four games remaining this season, captain Will Parker is now confident the team can hold on to their third place, with their win extending the lead over fourth-placed Maldon to 26 points.

“We were hoping for a top three position at the start of the season,” the team’s 2017 skipper confirmed. “There’s still four games but I think we’ve done the hard work.

“Beating Braintree was a big thing, as it meant we really secured our position in third — and we’re playing well.

“There’s been a real team effort and confidence is high. It’s been a blessing in diguise to be in this league this season, we have a young team who have learned a lot at this level.”

Woolpit, who were relegated from local cricket’s top tier at the end of last season, travelled to a struggling Braintree — who now lie 31 points adrift at the bottom of the league — and decided to bat first after winning the toss.

Parker (51) and Jack Rowett set about building a platform as they put on 97 for the first wicket, before Rowett was bowled by Geoff Eveling for 53.

James Deeley (96 no) and Nathan Crudelli followed suit, taking the score to 299-2 before Crudelli fell in the final over for 87, scored off just 60 balls. Cameron Greenhall (0 no) did not get to face a bowler as Woolpit ended on 299-3.

Braintree’s reply stuttered as Crudelli took wicket after wicket, however a middle-order partnership of 97 between Daniel Garner (51) and William Jackson (84) gave the home side a glimmer of hope.

But Jackson’s wicket also fell to Crudelli — who took six in total — and the innings folded rapidly, with Crudelli taking the final wicket off the penultimate ball to bowl Braintree out for 240.

Woolpit face sixth-placed Halstead at home on Saturday (12pm).

Parker said confidence is high, having produced a ‘convincing win’ in the first half of the season.

n In Division Three, Woolpit II (267-2) beat Halstead II (208-7) by 59 runs.

n In Division Nine West, Bury St Edmunds IV (140) lost to Woolpit IV (145-5) by 5 runs.

n In the Two Counties Ladies Challenge, Woolpit Ladies (121) beat Easton Ladies (120) by 10 wickets.

n In the Hunts County Bats Division One, Walsham le Willows Sunday XI (164) lost to Woolpit Sunday XI (247-6) by 83 runs.