GODMANCHESTER hosted Vauxhall Mallards in the EAPL on Saturday, and recovered from a poor start to run their guests close. The home side were invited to bat on what looked a useful seamer's wicket and the Mallards captain's decision was fully justified when half the Godmanchester side were back in the hutch for just 33 runs. The game looked to be heading to an early finish, but a rearguard action by David McCollum (31*), Paul Swannell (18) and James Cowan (13) took the final total to 114. Mallards skipper Paul Bradshaw (6-25) and Martin Addison (4-31) bowled superbly, vindicating the decision to bowl first. Just when the home side needed someone to step forward it was seamer Simon Rose who came out to bloom. Rose (6-26) was in a mean mood and with the ball carving around he took out the first five batsmen. At 33-5 Mallards seemed to be dead ducks, but with opener Carl Amos (16) remaining at the crease there was still hope. The arrival of Bradshaw with the score teetering at 46-8 marked the start of a fightback and, inspired by their captain, the visitors set about their own rearguard action. Bradshaw (24) steadied the team and began to get some runs on the board, and with solid contributions from Richard Goodenough (15) and Addison (15*), Mallards pinched the match at 115-9. Godmanchester captain Paul Swannell feared the worse after he had lost the toss, especially given the condition of the wicket. "The covers had been on for two days, and the last thing you want is to have to face bowlers like Bradshaw and Addison. I think the lads did well to reach a hundred." Swannell also praised his team for running Mallards so close after their woeful start. "It would have been an unbelievable win. Simon Rose looked as good as their seamers and this is only his first season in the EAPL. Their number 11 got a little bit lucky towards the end, but that's cricket.