Southwold lost on The Common against Easton on Sunday, as they fell 11 runs short of chasing down 145 for victory. Despite playing some excellent hard cricket, Easton proved too strong and Southwold reached just 133/9.
Winning the toss and choosing to field, Southwold’s opening bowlers Steve Hines and Sam Booker were typically miserly, Hines in particular. However, Easton’s opening pair of John Todd and Toby Wright were competent as they saw off the shine and the swing. Southwold had a number of very appealing shouts turned down as the pair put on 50 for the first wicket, with Todd the more aggressive of the two. The over before drinks saw the end of Wright however, as present and former Southwold captains’ combined – Hines catching off Craig Gorst-Allman’s bowling.
Following drinks, Todd and new batsman Sam Bennett-King set about building on the foundations of their innings, as Southwold’s heads dropped. Gorst-Allman chopped and changed his bowlers well though – and after reaching an excellent fifty, Jordan Barber’s first ball swung in and just clipped Todd’s off bail, bowling him for 64. Barber got his second wicket in fortuitous circumstances shortly afterwards when, after parrying a firmly struck drive from Attmere, the ball deflected onto the stumps to run out Bennett-King. From there it was a procession, with only Attmere providing resistance. Cranmer was bowled by Gorst-Allman, who took a good catch to remove Will Fiske the following over, again off Barber. The wicket-keeper-cum-bowler took his third when Sarangan was caught on the boundary by Booker and after the returning Hines took 3 quick wickets, including the important wicket of Attmere, bowled for 22, Barber took his fourth and Southwold’s 10th of the match, as Alex Britten took a catch inches off the ground to get rid of Saunders.
In reply, new opening pairing Gareth Gorst-Allman and Britten saw off the first spell from Fiske and Bennett-King. With both bowlers finding decent movement both in the air and off the pitch, the pair had to be circumspect and scoring was slow. Yet with the introduction of the change bowlers, the scoring picked up and the two brought up their fifty-run partnership in the 18th over. Southwold took drinks at 59 for no wicket and with no alarm, and the two continued after the break. However, Gorst-Allman was the first to fall as he looked to up the run rate, picking out midwicket with a mistimed pull stroke off Attmere. Jordan Barber was next in and despite a lovely drive for four, he failed to repeat his bowling heroics as he too fell, bowled by Sarangan. Booker joined Britten and the pair looked to score quickly, but just when the rate was being dragged down and after two successive sweep shots for four, Sarangan bowled Britten with a quicker ball for 43. Easton brought on their opening bowlers at this point, which induced a collapse that mirrored their own. Craig Gorst-Allman was first to go, out to Bennett-King, who was followed swiftly by Richard Woodhall, caught well by Cranmer off the bowling of Fiske. Aaron Goffin looked to attack the bowlers until he was bowled across the line by Fiske, Pettman was run out and Hines and Gosling were both bowled as they attempted to pull off an impossible run chase in the dying overs. In the end, Southwold fell short with Day Harvey and Sam Booker the not out batsmen in the end.
A frustrating afternoon and a batting collapse that Southwold will learn from; they travel to Sudbourne Hall next weekend.