Southwold’s Saturday XI signed off their debut season in the Norfolk Cricket League in style with a 26 point victory over Swanton Morley, a result which saw them finish 3rd in Division 8 of the competition.
On a sunny day in Southwold, the home team won the toss and chose to bat – but suffered an early setback as Matt Barbrook was bowled by a big inswinger from James Palmer, as the visitors found movement and variable bounce from the wicket. Trevor Clifford replaced Barbrook and joined Alex Britten in combating the conditions, and the pair put on nearly 50 together before Britten picked out Mike Makcrow in the covers. Captain Sam Booker played fluently for his 40, whilst Clifford reached 50 with an on-drive, however the pair fell in quick succession, as did David Barbrook, who was bowled for 5. At 145/5, the home side could have folded, but what followed was an onslaught as first Terry Booker – who scored fifty off 37 balls – and then Jake Fuller (31 off 38), Day Harvey (40* off 30) and finally Piers Currie (28* off just nine) all took part in a six-hitting competition, enjoying the last bit of crease time before next spring. The late attack took Southwold to their third highest total of the season, 290/7, and left Swanton Morley with a mountain to climb.
Piers Currie and Edward Garrard took the new ball and it was Currie who got the early breakthroughs as first an undignified full toss beat Makcrow and then a brilliant outswinging yorker defeated visiting captain Peter Butler who had scored a confident 15. Southwold then chipped away at regular intervals, resisted only by 67 year old David Powell, who reached his first ever half century in a defiant effort, but his innings was eventually ended as he was caught and bowled late on by Currie. Of the bowlers who chanced their arm only Sam Booker failed to pick up a wicket – yet he ended the season with 30 wickets at a cost of just 11.56 runs apiece, the best return for any of Southwold’s bowlers. Garrard (3/19), Terry Booker (1/23) and David Barbrook (1/21) all contributed to the cause as Swanton Morley were bowled out for 113, and Southwold completed the 177 run victory.
The curtain has fallen on the Saturday XI’s season and with just two losses and 11 victories the team can be proud of their effort. With wickets and runs shared around all summer it has been a true team effort for the fledging outfit, and signs are positive that 2015 will be even better.