Southwold’s Saturday XI’s debut in the Norfolk Cricket League was an unsuccessful one as they went down by four wickets to Reepham & Salle.
Southwold batted first in the picturesque surroundings of Salle cricket ground and with the church looking down on proceedings it saw a rather undignified batting effort from the visitors. Alex Britten was bowled for a tortuous duck by Raj Choudhary, who also bowled Sam Booker and Stefan Clifford after the pair had tried to put together a partnership. There was a slight resistance from Matt Barbrook (21), but it was a match-winning spell from the home team’s captain that blew Southwold away. Cameron Clapton took 5/1 as Southwold’s tail collapsed – from 86/5 Southwold were 102 all out, criminally bowled out well within their 45 overs.
The home team got off to a confident start in their chase of 103 and sent out young opening pair Thomas Harris and Robert Allen to face new ball bowlers Harry Booker and Luke Bailey. Southwold set attacking fields, knowing full well that they had to take wickets to stand any chance but the batsmen played well in putting on 30 before a wicket fell – Allen bowled by change bowler Terry Booker. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals – mostly to captain Sam Booker, who took 4/26 – but Lee Collier guided the young team with 27, before he too was bowled. It was left to Choudhary to knock the runs off with Arron Bird, as Reepham & Salle claimed the victory.
Southwold were disappointed with their batting performance after fielding a strong team but will take confidence from the fight they showed in the second half of the game. They host Hingham next Saturday, keen to get their first win of 2014.