Coach & Horses are up and running after defeating Sovereign

Coach & Horses recorded their first win of the North East London League campaign as they overcame Royal Sovereign by six wickets at London Fields.

With several teams on mid-season warm weather training weekends, Coach took advantage to rise to sixth in the league, leaving Sovereign – who made a sluggish start to proceedings – rooted to the bottom after two defeats from two games.

Coach’s Robert Perrett bowled opposing skipper Lucius Fulgence first ball, but the innings was steadied by a patient 58-run partnership between Mark Stephney and Luke Browne.

Browne was dismissed by a booming inswinger from Coach newcomer Kartik Joshi and this led to a succession of wickets, but Stephney compiled a club record 126 not out at the other end to help his side finish 199-8 from their 40 overs.

Perrett finished with fine figures of 4-28, ably supported by Joshi who picked up 2-15, and they began their reply with a rapid 40-run partnership which was ended by a comical run-out.

Opener James Moore scored a patient 81 and after the mid-innings drinks break, Coach upped the tempo with big-hitting batsman John Turner taking charge.

Edgar Maddicott then finished off the chase in a hurry with some well-timed boundaries, while Turner was unbeaten on 45, allowing Coach to surpass the Sovereign score with six wickets remaining and 2.4 overs to spare.

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Meanwhile at Millfields, Clapton & Oval are also up and running for the season after inflicting an eight-wicket defeat on leaders Daman.

New Clapton skipper Marcus Elwin won the toss and sent the opposition in to bat, but their bowling attack initially struggled to break through the top order.

Excellent fielding and accurate bowling created pressure that eventually took its toll, with the Daman middle order playing too aggressively for the circumstances and losing some quick wickets.

Kerry Tyrrell was the pick of the bowlers with 3-18 from his four overs, while Imran Mussagi was the stand-out Daman batsman, making 41.

In response, it was the Tom Taylor show as Clapton’s opener cracked 79 before being caught with the game practically won.

Taylor scored all around the wicket, punishing bad balls and threading drives through the off-side to score at will. With support from skipper Elwin (27) and Tyrrell (35 not out), it ended up a comfortable chase for Clapton who won by eight wickets.

There will be three matches in the league on Saturday – the pick of them at the North Marsh, where Coach & Horses and Clapton & Oval meet with both sides looking to record back-to-back victories.