It all came down to the last over – Sudbourne Hall were 92/8 and needed 10 runs to beat Southwold and progress to the semi final of the cup, whilst the visitors needed two wickets, or to restrict the hosts to 9 runs, as that would have seen them through by virtue of losing fewer wickets.
Southwold’s skipper Gareth Gorst-Allman took the ball, and four runs were taken off the first two balls, before calm thinking from Aaron Goffin at midwicket ran out James Foreman, bringing in last man Simon Denny. Going to the last ball, Sudbourne Hall required two to win and a calm flick to mid on from Charlie Hunt sealed it – an absorbing game of T20 cricket had gone right to the wire, proving once again that low scoring contests make the most gripping games.
Southwold’s mid-order collapse was to blame for their low total but a big partnership between Charlie Le Versha – who would later star with the ball – and George Caplin brought the visitors right back into the game. Gorst-Allman and Jordan Barber opened the batting but found runs hard to come by as they challenged both the long grass in the outfield and the dipping sun, creating awkward batting conditions. Gorst-Allman was first to go, bowled by Jenkin, before Foreman quickly ran through both David and Matt Barbrook, Jordan Barber and Aaron Goffin, before Alex Britten was caught behind off Scarce. At 52/6 in the 14th over Southwold were teetering but an unbeaten stand of 49 between Caplin and Le Versha took Southwold over 100, which had looked improbable, the latter top scoring with 38* off 31 balls.
Sudbourne had a slow start in reply as Steve Hines and Gorst-Allman were economical as ever and it wasn’t long before Sam Smy lobbed Southwold’s captain to Barber in the deep, the first of his three catches. Scarce was quickly removed by Hines for 1 before a partnership of 50 between Jonny Rice and Johnson swung the game firmly in Sudbourne’s favour. However, the introduction of Le Versha into the attack altered the complexion of the game once again, as in in his first over he had Rice (32) caught at deep square leg and then bowled Johnson for 21, whilst in his next over a clever slower ball deceived A Foreman, who simply popped it back to the bowler. David Barbrook chipped in, whilst Le Versha removed Peter Clift in his final over (both caught by Barber in the deep), before two late run outs took Southwold to the edge of a nerve-shredding victory. Yet it was Hunt and Foreman who kept their cool, and Southwold’s late surge was in vain.
Made to the rue their middle order collapse, Southwold’s 2014 cup run ended with a thrilling game that both teams could have won. They hope to host the Ipswich Carribeans on the weekend in the league following three games impacted by bad weather.