Victory lifts Suffolk to runners-up spot

August 23, 2022

JOSH Cantrell paid tribute to his team-mates after recording a county career-best as Suffolk preserved their NCCA Championship Eastern Division One status.

The Bury St Edmunds off-spinner returned figures of 34-9-45-6 as Suffolk dismissed hosts Bedfordshire for 223 in their second innings to end the season with a 136-run victory at Flitwick CC on Tuesday.

Cantrell said: “It has been an up and down season for me personally. I have had a few good games, but I feel like I have not contributed as much as I would have liked to have done, so it was really nice today to finally contribute in a way that I wanted to.

“Hats off to the rest of the bowlers for the efforts they have put in at the other end and I couldn’t have done it without them, so credit to them as well.”

Sitting bottom of the table after losing their opening two matches, Suffolk won away at both Staffordshire and then Bedfordshire, who were relegated instead.

With Lincolnshire clinging on to claim a draw against Norfolk and take the title at the expense of their hosts, Suffolk leapfrogged their neighbours and Staffordshire to finish runners-up in a tight division.

Suffolk dominated against Bedfordshire after winning the toss, Darren Ironside (152) and George Rhodes (148) compiling a third-wicket stand of 226 in 52 overs.

Ironside and Ben Claydon (48 not out) added 96 against the home side’s tiring attack – Bedfordshire only had three frontline bowlers – as Suffolk reached 378 for 4 in their 90 overs.

Bedfordshire were then bowled out for 256, Rhodes taking 5 for 36 and Dan Shanks 2 for 19, as Suffolk built a first-innings lead of 122.

Quick runs were the order of the day when Suffolk batted a second time and Ironside continued his rich vein of form that had seen him register scores of 146, 81, 152 and now 76 to take his tally to 455 runs for the county in just eight days.

He added 110 with Alex Oxley, whose 72 off 51 deliveries included six sixes, and then 71 with Rhodes, who ended undefeated on 57 off 36 as Suffolk smashed 237 for 3 declared in 31 overs at a run-rate of 7.6 per over!

That left Suffolk a minimum of 109 overs to bowl out Bedfordshire second time around, and it was fittingly Tom Rash, who earlier in the day announced he was retiring from all formats after a distinguished county career, who took the last wicket to seal Suffolk’s success.

George Rhodes is pictured above scoring runs on the leg side during his 148 in Suffolk’s first innings.



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