After two weeks break, Southwold’s Saturday XI continued their unbeaten streak in the Norfolk Cricket League as Matt Barbrook’s maiden century and contributions from Ezra Fuller, Stefan Clifford and Sam Booker saw them post a good total against Diss, one which they defended.
Opening the batting, Barbrook watched from the non-striking end as his partner Alex Britten was bowled first ball by Will Ward, but showed no pressure as he pumped his first ball straight down the ground for four to get Southwold up and running. In collaboration with new man Fuller the two batted excellently as confident running and well placed shots brought them runs at a good lick. As Fuller used any pace on the ball to glide it into the gaps, Barbrook became more confident to come down the wicket to the spin of Paine and the pace of Heaton. Looking to up his own run rate Fuller fell for a composed 35, but it was not to stop Southwold’s batsmen attacking as Clifford was positive from the start, lacing his third ball to the rope. Barbrook approached his century with some well timed boundaries before picking up the single needed to become Southwold’s first centurion of 2015, a hundred which contained 14 fours. His innings was cut short soon after for 107, a score that could well have swelled in size. Captain Booker joined Clifford, who reached his half century with a clip for four through the on-side, and the two put the foot down. Both hit a flurry of boundaries as rain clouds approached and, concerned with the chance of the game being ended by the rain, Booker declared the home team’s innings after 40 overs and with 258 on the board.
The visitors took to the pitch with a spot of drizzle in the air and the rain continued to fall for the first half of their innings as once again the new ball pairing of Jason Hall and Edward Garrard proved miserly and incisive. Garrard got the first two to fall, bowling both Young and Baker before Cotton (30) and Paine (26) steadied the ship with a good partnership. The introduction of Harry Booker proved decisive though as, in his first over, he had Cotton brilliantly stumped by Clifford and then in his third had Paine caught well at the square leg boundary by Hall. Terry Booker and the returning Hall both then chipped in with vital breakthroughs before Garrard, in his second spell, bowled the resilient Dunthorpe which left captain Booker to wrap things up with two wickets in his fourth over – the first a thin tickle, again well caught behind by Clifford and the final wicket another stumping as Heaton missed a slog sweep.
A comprehensive win for Southwold against a good team and inclement weather sees them still lying in second behind Beeston in the table but with the confidence of a victory against a strong club. Their next game, away to Hardingham, is on Saturday 27th of June.