Southwold’s Saturday XI snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and continued their remarkable winning streak, as they managed to defend 135 against Mundford on The Common.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat on a pitch that had been hit by overnight rain, Southwold were swiftly on the backfoot as Fraser Eyres exploited bowler-friendly conditions to have the hosts 7/2. Matt Barbrook (25) enjoyed some time at the middle and played some good shots before he was turned around by the impressive Jonathan Rice, whilst Sam Booker, who creamed 38 effortless runs, looked set for a big score before he fell to the slow spin of Copeland. In need of a rebuilding job, Day Harvey and Jake Fuller were the unlikely pair for Southwold. Biding their time before expanding, they both scored important runs, the highlights being Harvey’s mammoth six over long on and Fuller’s classy back foot cover drive. Yet both fell in swift succession, and the rest of Southwold’s tail followed – being undone by Copeland and Stuart Croucamp, who took 4/29 and 3/19 as Southwold’s last 5 wickets fell for a paltry five runs.
After posting just 135, Southwold’s batsmen had asked their bowlers to bail them out – but when Mundford’s openers of Rice and Morgan Burt began confidently, the home team would have been forgiven for believing their remarkable streak could have been under threat. However, Burt fell to Booker as she mistimed a pull to midwicket, and Stuart Croucamp was soon bowled by Southwold’s captain, who had reverted to spin after an opening spell bowling seam. And when Kyle Croucamp fell soon afterwards, Southwold began to exploit the open end. Jon Pearce was next, bowled by George Caplin before Southwold got the big wicket of Rice, who picked out Sydney Barbrook off Caplin, who took a good catch. Rice’s innings of 54 off 106 balls held Mundford together, and next ball Andy Finch got an inside edge to Fuller at leg slip, to leave Southwold sensing an upset, and the visitors teetering at 107/6. Yet a partnership between Colin Tyms and Bruce McIsaac took Mundford out of trouble and to within six runs of the win – before once again, Caplin struck twice in two balls. Firstly McIsaac fell, slashing a cut to fly slip before Copeland lasted just one ball as the left hander edged to Fuller at slip, who took a sharp catch. Caplin had taken 5/25 in no time and suddenly Mundford were 130/8 – and it was Southwold who took their chance. Edward Garrard was reintroduced, and in three balls he ended the innings as fast, full and straight defeated Eyres and then Chris Pont.
From looking down and out, Southwold managed to pull off a victory that looked way out of reach half way through their opposition’s chase. Next week they are at home again, hosting Dereham.