Southwold’s Saturday XI started off the 2015 season in perfect fashion with a resounding 81 run victory over Brooke B. Ed Garrard’s match winning new-ball spell of 6-36 cleaned up the visitors to The Common after captain Sam Booker’s 43 saved Southwold from a sub-par score.
After losing the toss and asked to bat, Southwold got off to a confident start as Alex Britten and in particular Matt Barbrook looked to bat positively. Brooke quickly changed their approach and introduced spin pair Aaron Beaumont and Clive Bennett, who proved tougher to get away on a wicket that offered assistance to the bowlers. Barbrook was first to go – after a well-placed cover drive he was given leg-before to an arm-ball from Beaumont for 25 – and new man Stefan Clifford nearly joined him soon after, surviving a pleading lbw appeal first ball. He and Britten made it to drinks, but Britten was out soon after, as he was bowled by Bennett for 26. Clifford followed suit for a well made 30 as Beaumont took a sharp return chance and when David Barbrook (2) and debutant Jason Hall (7) departed Southwold were dangerously placed at 118/5. However, Booker’s promising 43, which steadied the ship before taking the attack to Brooke, salvaged Southwold and in partnership with Andy Hirst (24*) the pair took Southwold to a competitive 177/6 off their 45 overs.
In reply, Brooke made a decent start as Bennett and Babington were severe on Southwold’s opening pair of Garrard and Hall. However, once the two found their rhythm and control in a strong cross-wind, Brooke were in all sorts of trouble. After an opening stand of 30, Garrrard firstly removed Babington for 15 and then Bennett for 14 – but the home team needed a piece of brilliance by Hall at leg slip, flinging one hand high above his head to take an excellent reflex catch to remove the dangerous looking Beaumont. Westgate was attacking – lofting Hall over his head twice for four and once for a big six – before he was done-in by a ball which he defended, only to gaze forlornly at it as it rolled with back-spin onto his stumps and dislodged a bail. From then it was something of a procession as Garrard’s six wicket haul, his second 5-fer for the club, and Hall (3/42) reduced the visitors from 68/4 to 80/9. They provided some late resistance as Stubbs struck some hefty blows late one which took them to 96 before he was bowled by Terry Booker for 17.
After two chastening defeats for the Sunday XI a winning start to the season for the Saturday team was just what Southwold CC needed. The Saturday team have a week off before travelling to Horsford on the 16th of May for their first away game of the summer.