Saffron Walden fell two runs shy of victory against Vauxhall Mallards at the Anglo American Playing Fields.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Andrew Wright. Picture: Jamie PluckAndrew Wright. Picture: Jamie Pluck (Image: Archant)

Andrew Wright (50), Matt Gouldstone (58) and Andrew Gale (45) had given Walden a chance of chasing down Mallard’s 203 but they faltered at the very end as Paul Bradshaw took three wickets in the final over and the innings closed on 202-8.

The game ended in a general draw, Walden’s second stalemate of the East Anglian Premier League season.

A draw was a fair result between two evenly matched teams but to come so close to winning will disappoint Walden, especially after the bowling attack contained nine of Mallard’s batsmen.

Only opener Matt Platter (42) and number three Devon Conway (91) built up a head of steam in the face of Walden’s attack. They single-handedly gave Mallards a competitive total, with the rest of the order subsiding for 16 runs or less.

Together they put 55 runs on the board for the second wicket before Platter was caught by Gouldstone off Tom Philp (1-32).

Gouldstone has been Walden’s main threat with the bat this season – he was again on Saturday – but he also had a hand in six wickets against Mallards, ending with three wickets and three catches.

The biggest was that of Conway in the 55th over, potentially saving Walden from chasing a score between 230 and 240.

In the end, it didn’t matter as Walden could only gain a draw.

But they came so close.

Philp (12) and Tom Bonham (14) did little to worry Mallards at the top of the order. Wright was a different proposition, however, as he scored six fours on his way to an even half-century.

Gouldstone and Wright put on 48 runs for the fourth wicket to push Walden past the halfway point in the chase. The fifth wicket pairing was Walden’s best as Gouldstone and Gale scored 57 runs in little under an hour.

After Gouldstone was caught, Walden stood at 161-5 and had four overs to get the 43 runs required for victory.

Gale and Barrs (10) put in a gallant effort to get Walden within five runs of victory at the start of the final over.

Bradshaw, however, produced a masterfull over, dismissing Barrs, Gale and Spencer Hill (1) to keep Walden two runs shy of their target and earn his side a draw.