Saxmundham Hammer Southwold

Despite captain Gareth Gorst-Allman’s best efforts with the bat, Southwold’s Sunday XI slipped to yet another defeat on a miserable day on The Common against Saxmundham. The game, a precursor to a Plate match against the same opposition on the 5th of July, matched the weather as a dreary batting effort left the visitors with a small total to chase down, which they did with little fuss.

The rain was still falling as Saxmundham won the toss and inserted their hosts but the early momentum was with Southwold. Openers Gorst-Allman and Duncan Hume were positive and hit a number of pleasing boundaries – Gorst-Allman taking 12 off one Ian Price over, whilst Hume picked Thurston off his pads for runs. Despite Hume falling for 12, Southwold had 49 on the board and Southwold’s captain was hitting his stride. He ticked off his half-century from 50 balls and pushed on, taking his side to 90 in the 17th over when number three batsman Alex Britten was out for 19. Even so, at the half-way stage of Southwold’s innings, the score was 106/2 and a big total looked on. Yet after the interval, the introduction of Gary Butler and a tight spell from Feveyear turned the game. Sandwiched between Matt Barbrook’s stumping off the bowling of Butler for 7 and Shane Gosling’s dismissal for four, opposing captain Feveyear claimed the key wicket of Gorst-Allman for an 81 ball 76. His innings, glittering with heavy pulls and neat clips off his pads, was ended as his middle stump was pegged back, a good ball to end a good knock. The home team then subsided – both Ezra Fuller and Steve Hines were run out after mis-judgements before youngster Harry Barbrook, in his first senior game, Tom Cowley and Steve Horn all fell, leaving Charlie Le Versha not out on 3. In a weak collapse, Southwold had lost their last eight wickets for just 13 runs, and were all out for 136.

The home team needed a Herculean effort to roll over their opposition and despite the valiant efforts of Steve Hines, who collected 2/38, the visitors were never truly tested. At 20/2 there was a sniff of an upset but a 78 run partnership between Halls and Goddard, who first absorbed pressure before counter-attacking, put paid to any serious hopes of a Southwold win. The introduction of Le Versha and Hume, who removed Halls and Goddard respectively, gave Southwold bonus bowling points but an unbeaten 20 from Youngs steered Saxmundham home – with more than five overs in the bank.

A chastening defeat for Southwold and one they must forget before they visit Saxmundham in a week’s time for a Plate fixture they are desperate to win.

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