On a miserable Bank Holiday Sunday, with rain showers interrupting proceedings, Southwold’s Sunday XI avenged their defeat to Easton from just last week as they claimed a 4 wicket victory with captain Gareth Gorst-Allman hitting a match-winning 96 as the home team chased down 166.
The visitors elected to bat after winning the toss – with rain around and on a new wicket they were soon looking as if they might regret that decision as Steve Hines got the ball to move off the pitch, first bowling Kimmerling for 9, then pinning Toby Wright for 12 before bowling William Dunsworth in the same over for a duck. Easton were reeling at 28/3 and were salavaged by Chris Wells and Joey Poacher, who dug in till the 14th over when the rain got heavier and forced the players to the safety of the pavilion. After a break of over an hour the teams returned and it was the home side who took the initiative as first Edward Garrard bowled Poacher, then Wells miscued a pull of Hines to Naseem at square leg and then Gorst-Allman bowled Will Fiske, who had looked to be aggressive in his 19. The visitors were soon 93/7 as captain Jeremy Jayasuriya was bowled by Garrard for 9 – and only a fightback by James Keeble, who finished unbeaten on 51, saved them. Keeble was circumspect at first before accelerating, firstly in partnership with Phil Carlstroem (11) and finally Steve Pearce (8*) as Southwold leaked runs in the final 10 overs.
A quick turnaround brought Southwold’s openers out to bat in gloomy conditions and yet more rain and their chase got off to a poor start as Alex Britten gloved one down the leg side off Fiske to wicketkeeper Carlstroem, who juggled it before it stuck – 3/1. Duncan Hume joined Gorst-Allman and the pair batted aggressively before Hume, after being struck on the glove from Alex Aitcheson, was yorked next ball for 13. Charlie Le Versha was the new man in and again, was positive against anything lose. He and Gorst-Allman put on a fifty stand for the 3rd wicket before Southwold suffered a wobble at the hands of Keeble – Le Versha was lbw for 19, Shane Gosling chipped a catch back to him for 3, Garrard did the same for a duck and then Andy Hirst was lbw without scoring – 107/2 had become 114/6 and the home side were looking set on turning a winning position into a losing one. However, in Naseem the home captain found a doughty partner and the pair turned the strike over confidently before Gorst-Allman, just four short of an excellent century, was lbw for an equally excellent 96. It was not to hinder Southwold though, as Naseem and Jake Fuller took Southwold home with over five overs to go.
A great win against good opposition was the result of an afternoon of hard work in testing conditions, and Southwold can take confidence from their performance to next week’s trip to Brantham in the first round of the league Cup.