Southwold polished off a Plate quarter-final win against Wortham on Sunday, a victory that takes them just one game from another final, three years after their last.
Chasing 159 on a pitch with variable bounce, openers Gareth Gorst-Allman and Alex Britten got settled in early, knocking off the four runs an over they needed. The pair brought up their fifty stand in the 12th over and were looking solid before Britten was lbw to Gooderham for 26. Ben Willgoss joined his captain and brought another level of energy to the crease, instantly using his feet to the spin of Olpin and Gooderham. Gorst-Allman brought up his half century with a hit over mid-on’s head before he skied Ben Buckmaster to deep-midwicket for 72 – an innings that proved decisive and, despite Willgoss giving the cover fielder a catch off James Platt for 29, Sam Booker (17*) and Jordan Barber (3*) picked off the runs needed calmly and with 4.5 overs in the bank sealed the victory.
Earlier in the day, James Stevenson’s 83 anchored the home side’s effort of 158/8 as Gorst-Allman was forced to look to part-timers to fill the quota of overs. Jason Hall (2/30) and Jordan Barber (1/26) opened but found the going tough as Stevenson attacked from the start. His opening partner Riley was forced off injured soon after play began, but in Davey (30) he found good support, and the pair were sitting pretty at 116/0 after 24 overs. The introduction of Tom Chibnall proved decisive though, as a miserly spell of 3/21 from seven overs stemmed the scoring – first he bowled Davey, before Ben Buckmaster lobbed a catch to Hall and then finally Olpin nicked to Willgoss behind the stumps. At the other end, Britten bowled the home skipper first ball before Stevenson’s innings was brought to an end as he mistimed a shot to the man of the moment Chibnall – the pair took four wickets for 13 runs in a seven over spell. Hall and Barber returned to mop up the tail – Hall having Platt lbw and bowling Gooderham with a slower ball, before Willgoss stumped Feveyear for a quick 22 off Barber to wrap up the home team’s innings on 158. In the end, that total proved too low as Southwold marched past on the way to the semi-finals.
Southwold have a week off next Sunday, before travelling to Mellis for league action on August the 16th.