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Peter Hatzoglou and Callum Guest star in Sawston & Babraham's win over Copdock & Old Ipswichian

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Peter Hatzoglou and Callum Guest had vital roles as Sawston & Babraham earned a seven-wicket win over Copdock & Old Ipswichian in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League.

Shorn of the skills of Noah Thain, who was on trial for the England under-19 squad, the Rams lost the toss and were asked to field.

Their first breakthrough came with just five runs on the board, but Sam Arthurton and Alex Oxley raced the score on to 50 for 1.

Oxley, who made 37 off 49 balls, was Hatzoglou’s first victim and the Rams’ bowlers were picking up wickets and stifling the scoring rate in the most trying and tiring of conditions.

Donald Mlambo joined Athurton and they steered Copdock to lunch at 121 for 3 after thirty-five overs. With 75 runs coming in the first 18 overs the Rams controlled the period up to lunch by conceding just 46 runs in the next seventeen overs.

Hatzoglou then got the prize wicket of Arthurton (58) and tightened the screw to finish with four for 36 as Copdock slipped to 143 for 7.

Hugh Thomas (16) got the score to 169 with help from Charlie Bennett (10) but Tim Moses took three for 23 to clean out the tail to end the innings on 174.

Charlie Lewis and Callum Guest gave the visitors a steady start, taking the Rams to 50 without loss in 87 balls, and carried the form on to reach tea at 103 for 0 after 26 overs.

Guest has impressed in a new role at the top of the innings, and the knock of 77 took him to 570 league runs, at an average of 51.8.

He was the first wicket to fall and fellow opener Charlie Lewis (57) went not long after, but any faint Copdock hopes were extinguished as Hatzoglou (16 not out) and Nathan Buck (12 not out) dispensed with running and took the boundary option to see the Rams home by seven wickets.

Mildenhall won impressively at Bury St Edmunds to keep just eight points behind Sawston & Babraham.

The top two are more than 50 points ahead of Copdock & Old Ipswichian in third, but Horsford and Sudbury could close the gap to about 40 if they win games in hand.

Witham and Frinton shared the spoils, but there were wins for Saffron Walden and a second successive victory for Great Witchingham, who moved to mid-table at the expense of Norfolk rivals Swardeston, who find themselves bottom of the table and in danger of relegation.

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