Southwold’s Saturday XI hosted their toughest opponents yet on a warm but breezy Bank Holiday Saturday as league leaders Beeston came to visit – and after a good performance with the ball from skipper Sam Booker several batsmen contributed as the home team knocked off 162 to win their third straight game of 2015.
Southwold won the toss and put Beeston in and opening bowlers Jason Hall and Edward Garrard began with control. It was Garrard who took the first wicket of opener Martin Hall, courtesy of a fabulous catch at point from Ezra Fuller and it was Garrard again who dismissed number three Norwell to leave the visitors at a precarious 15/2. Beeston consolidated for a time as Hall beat the bat repeatedly but with no reward, Parke (32) and Woods (45) combining for a dangerous partnership. Terry Booker replaced Hall at drinks but received a nasty knee injury after demonstrating a slightly exaggerated long barrier when fielding at square leg, which removed him from the bowling attack – an injury which required captain Sam Booker to dig deep into his reserves. He and Gareth Gorst-Allman changed the pace of the game however as Southwold’s captain picked a wicket with his first ball after a brilliant piece of work from Stefan Clifford to stump Clive Parke. This set Booker up to rip through the middle order as he recorded figures of 4/42 off 11 – whilst Garrard finished with 3/25, Gorst-Allman 1/22 and Hall 1/31 as a good display in the field from Southwold kept the visitors to 162.
Following tea Southwold opened with Matt Barbrook and 11 year old Fuller who saw off the new ball as Beeston’s openers bowled with some good variations of pace and line. Barbook looked good as he played some solid shots but was out to a good ball from Parke for 10. The home side then proceeded to bat on very steadily, as Fuller showed no fear at senior level cricket with some marvellous strokes before being bowled by Wall. Gorst-Allman, making his Saturday debut, made a good looking 30 before being run out after a classic ‘yes/no’, whilst ‘keeper Clifford, himself a centurion versus Beeston in 2014, scored 27. It was captain Booker who was keen to put the game to bed, producing a number of good shots to put Beeston under pressure. David Barbrook fell unluckily to a catch on the boundary for just a single, however, this brought Hall to the crease and it wasn’t long before he was showing off some of his Southern Hemisphere talent. He hit two sixes that brought the run rate back to a controlled state before Booker was run out leaving brother Harry to see the game out with Hall winning the game with 5 overs to spare and by 5 wickets.
Next week Southwold travel to North Walsham & Bacton, who sit third in the table, which is sure to be another test for the in form Southwold team.