A miserable morning greeted one of the biggest games of the season for Southwold and Beeston but both teams were determined to play and the top of the table clash got underway.
Southwold started well after winning the toss with Stefan Clifford and Gareth Gorst-Allman picking up boundaries with ease and the pair put on 50 after just 10 overs. Adie Greef started to find something in the pitch however, popping the odd delivery to Clifford, before getting him caught behind, bringing Matthew Barbrook, Southwold’s in-form batsman, to the crease. However, he struggled to get the ball away early and survived a big LBW appeal in his first over. Clifford’s wicket started a collapse for the visitors with Gorst-Allman and Sam Booker both being bowled as Southwold found themselves 54/3, then 65/4 when Tom Chibnall was removed for 7. It was left to the Barbrook Boys, who knocked up a good 40 runs, before David Barbrook was bowled for 21 as Southwold passed 100. Luke Bailey took guard and started to push hard with singles and two’s before being run out following a mix-up with Matt Barbrook, who soon followed him back to the pavilion for 30. Jason Hall and Harry Booker again ran well before Hall was caught on the boundary for 8, before Terry Booker and Ed Garrard fell swiftly, leaving Southwold’s tail motionless and their opposition’s target at 156.
Jason Hall opened the bowling after tea with Southwold knowing that they would have to bowl and field well to defend a small total. Hunting an early edge, Hall was left frustrated as Beeston managed to get a few thick edges away and began scoring steadily. Ed Garrard was the man with the breakthrough though, as he took off stump away from Martin Hall for 15, and then backed that up with a successful roar for LBW to send Norwell on his way. Luke Bailey took a wonderful catch at mid-off to give Hall a wicket, before the quickie then destroyed the stumps to dismiss Anderson for a duck. It wasn’t long before he got another, teaming up with Terry Booker who took the catch off Dennett – the fielder then relieving Hall and settling onto a consistent line and length. Booker’s perseverance forced Woods, who had played well for 37, into an edge behind before another wicket fell, caught behind, leaving Beeston deflated at 86/6. Captain Sam Booker started his spell from the other end and put pressure on the Beeston middle order, as his brother Harry soon settled underneath a catch to dismiss Kimber for 2 as Terry Booker continued to reap the reward of consistency at the other end, recording figures of 3/14 from his seven overs. Despite Harry Booker’s efforts in his short spell, it was opener Hall who secured the final wicket, having Greef lbw and Beeston all out for 119.
The win takes Southwold to within 14 points of leaders Beeston but crucially with a game in hand over their rivals. Next week Southwold host North Walsham.