Exning suffer narrow home defeat to Braintree

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Exning 217-7 lost to

Braintree 228-7

by 11 runs

Exning’s hopes of survival in Division Two took another dent as they slipped to an 11 run defeat at home to promotion chasing Braintree on Saturday.

The visitors chose to bat first and quickly found success as their Australian import Lachlan Ford reeled off a quartet of boundaries.

With support from Dean Bass (17), the Braintree openers put together a partnership of 50 before Bass was trapped for lbw by the accurate bowling of Ian Starling (1-29).

Chris Leech came into bat for the visitors and helped add 66 runs for the second wicket, with Ford passing the half-century mark before Leech was the first of two victims from the bowling of Ollie Lawson (2-60).

Simon Lawson gave the Park side some hope as he dismissed Ford immediately after he had reached his century, while two balls later Will Jackson was adjudged for lbw to see their score slump from 162-2 to 162-5.

Dan Chalk (33) and Rory Ainsley (17) scored 50 runs together for the sixth wicket, before Simon Lawson (4-54) enjoyed another double wicket as Braintree closed on 228-7.

In reply Exning were left in disarray on 60-3 after three wickets from Dan Garner (3-29), but Tim Catley and Ollie Lawson fought back for the home side.

The duo added 111 runs for the fourth wicket to give Exning hope, however after Lawson (59) and Catley (75) both departed Exning were left on 185-5.

Barry Stephens (3-77) took the last two wickets of the match as the home side reached 217-7 after 45 overs, just an agonising 12 runs short of victory.

n In Division Eight West, Exning II conceded defeat at Stowupland by a sizeable nine wicket margin at the weekend.

Young Oakley Colby (28) and Frank Digman (27) were the top scorers with the bat as Exning closed on 140-9, before Tom Wray (78 not out) saw the hosts over the line on 144-1.