The new Cup and Plate competition has reached the first round proper (the quarter-finals), with seven teams competing in the Cup and six teams in the Plate.
One match in the Cup was played last evening, with Sudbury going down ½ – 3½ to Ipswich C. The other two matches, between Ipswich D and Manningtree, and Ipswich E and Ipswich A, will be played on Tuesday 6 January. The seventh team, Ipswich B, has a bye to the semi-finals.
In the Plate, Saxmundham will play Stowmarket on 6 January, whilst the two Bury St Edmunds teams, E and D, face each other on Thursday 29 January. Two teams have byes: Felixstowe and Ipswich F.
The success or otherwise of this event can be judged by its 13 entries, considerably more than the nine teams that played last season in the Under 125 and Under 145 Cups combined. However, eight teams declined to participate in the Cup and Plate, mostly on account of fixture congestion and the consequent difficulty in finding sufficient players. These were three teams from Bury St Edmunds (A, B & C), Adastral Park, Clacton, as well as the ‘B’ teams from Stowmarket, Saxmundham and Manningtree. Both Bury and Clacton have considerable commitments in other leagues (Bury Area and North Essex respectively).