Exning 205-8 beat
by 46 runs
A weakened Exning side gained revenge over Braintree on Saturday to record their second successive league win.
With memories of the resounding defeat inflicted upon them earlier in the season, Exning entered the clash with some trepidation.
Play was delayed by 30 minutes following persistent morning rain and, when the visitors won the toss, they had no hesitation in inserting the hosts on a damp outfield.
Despite this, the Exning openers — augmented by a generously-escalating total of extras — ran up their highest first-wicket partnership of the season.
Kris Judge scored 13 in the company of Peter Woods in a stand of 52.
Having set the base on which to build, Tim Catley joined Woods in a second-wicket partnership of 86.
As the score moved into three figures, both batsmen took advantage of the occasional wayward ball before Woods (60) became the next wicket to fall on 138, having entertained with two huge sixes in his innings.
Catley continued to move the score along at a more-than-acceptable rate and, although Barry Stephens (4-46) and Oliver Grayson (3-51) strangled the middle-order scoring to a great extent, he found dutiful support from Dom Nelson (14no) as they made hay in the final five overs with Catley crashing three sixes from Grayson’s final over.
He was finally bowled in the penultimate over for 80, leaving Exning on 205-8.
Warren Celiz (18) started the Braintree reply in aggressive fashion, but he was spectacularly snaffled by stand-in keeper Catley, diving in front of first slip, to give Daniel Baigent (2-53) the first wicket.
The innings took on a more laboured approach as Ian Starling (1-25 in 13 overs) and Michael Griggs (1-33) oversaw the score, reaching 57-3 as Robert Jones (25) was athletically caught by Baigent in the wide mid-off area.
Daniel Chalk (30) endeavoured to get the Braintree innings moving along, but with Starling conceding just five runs from the final seven overs of his spell.
With the introduction of Peter Woods (3-32), the score slumped to 96-6 at the end of the 25th.
It was then a matter of whether Exning could claim a full 20-point victory by bowling the visitors out and how many batting points could be gathered by Braintree.
As it happened, Barry Stephens held steady for an undefeated 19 while Daniel Garner (28) helped collect three batting points.
Although Ben Readman (1-13) and Baigent saw two more wickets fall, the Park side had to be content with a 19-point win as the innings tailed off on 159-8 to give Exning an important 46-run victory.
Matches involving Exning II and Exning Sunday fell victim to the weather.