Southwold reached the semi finals of the Suffolk Cup with an excellent 4 wicket victory over Castle CC. Chasing 211 on a good batting wicket, the home side knocked off the runs with an over and a ball to spare.
Earlier in the day, Castle won the toss and had no doubts about batting first. With regular opening bowler Steve Hines absent, it was down to Charles Le Versha and the returning George Mattocks to make the inroads and after a sloppy first over, Le Versha did just that, as he fortuitously bowled Dury off the inside edge. Hopkins joined Gilderson at the crease and the two were restricted by some decent bowling and fielding and in the 13th over, the breakthrough came as Gilderson edged Gareth Gorst-Allman behind to Jordan Barber. Baron came to the wicket and chanced his arm whilst Hopkins played a more measured innings and his 30 runs came in quick time with a flurry of fours and sixes. However, he too was soon bowled by Le Versha. Hopkins and Gregory then put together a frustrating partnership as they flogged tired bodies around the field as the sun beat down; the sweat pouring from drained bowlers. Eventually, relief came as Hopkins was LBW to Booker for a good 72 and Gregory soon followed, caught behind off Mattocks for 38. There was still enough time for some lower order swishing from Leach and Adams as Castle finished their 40 overs healthily on 211.
Southwold knew that this was a decent score – though they batted deep right down to 10 – the absence of skipper Craig Gorst-Allman, who injured a finger fielding, leaving them one down. Gareth Gorst-Allman fell early on, but Ryan Moore ensured that they didn’t slip below the run rate – hitting 6 fours in his 25. When he was out, Southwold were 39/2 and some steady rebuilding was in order from Porter, who was joined by Jordan Barber after Britten fell for 20. Barber and Porter batted positively and kept the team afloat in a situation where they have floundered in previous games this season. Porter was soon out for 35 though and was swiftly followed by Barber, who was bowled for a good 32. It was down to Sam Booker and Le Versha, who were a great double act – Booker the adhesive one whilst Le Versha dismissed all before him. The two put on the match-winning partnership of 75 and although Booker fell for 19, there was still enough batting down the order to see the home team through – as Mattocks hit an unbeaten 12, leaving Le Versha stranded on a tantalising 47*.
Special mention goes to Jordan Barber, who after 68 games has left Southwold CC to focus on vice captaining Gillingham CC. He has given years of good service to the club and his all round cricket ability will be a great bonus for Gillingham!
Next week sees Southwold return to league action as they travel to Kesgrave.