Southwold’s 1st XI won a thriller over Frettenham on The Common on Saturday, as the visitors came within 12 runs of overhauling the home team’s 187.
Southwold captain Sam Booker won the toss and chose to bat first on a very firm looking wicket hoping to set a big target. The plan started well with Gareth Gorst-Allman and Alex Britten starting strongly, putting on 54, before Britten was caught behind for 21. Mathew Barbrook took to the crease and continued to support Gorst-Allman but was caught and bowled by Ashley Blackburn for 11. The opener carried well past his fifty before missing a straight one on 84 from Jake Norton and, with their set batsman dismissed, the home side slipped from 151/4 as the last five batsmen scored just 41 between them. Terry Booker was last out, run out, as Southwold collapsed to 187.
After tea the home side’s bowling again started strong with Steve Hines pinning opener M. Barnham leg before in the first over before removing his fellow opener two overs later, chipping a catch to Booker at cover. Jason Hall was going well from the other end and keeping things very tight through the first fifteen overs as the visiting bastmen struggled to get it off the square and were kept down to 29/2. Sensing the run rate climbing away from them, Frettenham’s middle order changed the pace of the game as, out of nowhere, Jamie Weavers launched a whithering attack. He hit his first three balls for six , destroying the figures of Ed Garrard, as he blitzed a 15 ball 40 before the bowler had his own back, yorking him in the 22nd over. However, his onslaught signalled a change in the tempo of the game as the visitors chipped away at the runs with Richard Broughton doing most of the work. However, he was finally dismissed for 41 by Gorst-Allman, Garrard catching a rasping pull shot at midwicket. With that wicket Southwold again looked to have the game in control, but this brought the Frettenham skipper to the crease, with the look of a batsman who knew how to finish a tight game. With his side only needing four runs an over with 15 overs left, the batsmen picked up singles with ease and continued to lower the required rate. The game’s tension continued to grow with each and every run making the score closer and closer – yet in the 43rd over the Booker combination of Sam, Harry and Terry saved the game for Southwold. The 9th wicket fell a fielding tee up from Terry to Harry who fired a throw to ‘keeper Stefan Clifford to run out Paul Webster and two balls later, with just 12 needed to win, last man Jake Norton smashed Sam Booker into the large expanse of Steve Hines at midwicket, winning Southwold the game.
A great game and an even better test of Southwold’s resolve saw lots of great performances – Gorst-Allman’s 84 was crucial to the side getting to a total they could defend, whilst Steve Hines’ spell of 2/16 at the top of the innings tied the visitors down. Next week the team travel to Bungay seeking their 6th win in a row.