Southwold 2nd XI retained top position in NCL level 4SE after an excellent home win on Saturday.
With unsettled weather around and one visitor’s car load lost touring South Norfolk to find the venue the match was reduced to 40 overs a side and, after winning the toss, Southwold’s openers found that the visitors were a much stronger outfit than the ones they had played earlier in the season. Openers Trevor Clifford and young Ezra Fuller carefully plotted through the early overs and put on a half century partnership before Fuller (18) played over the top of one from Young to be bowled. Leading scorer Shane Gosling came to the crease and got off the mark with a 6 over midwicket before Clifford, in a bid to push the score on, was run out via a direct hit after scoring 52. Hirst joined Gosling and the pair consolidated before opening bowler Hudson returned to clean bowl Gosling (40) with a quick yorker and it wasn’t long before Southwold were struggling – Hirst’s patient 25 held the innings together as Woodhall, Fuller and Day all came and went, before Hodge and Cowley saw the innings to an end at 180/7, probably 20 short of a par score.
In reply the visitors soon got ahead of the run rate but in the 7th over with the score on 35 Day produced a good ball to have Lawes (14) snared by Woodhall in the slips. Young joined Hudson and the pair continued to score quickly enforcing home management to turn to spin sooner than planned. Instant response to the Fuller’s father/son combination immediately slowed down the runs and eventually the breakthrough in the 21st over came when Young (25) was deceived by Ezra Fuller with a turning ball pitching off and taking middle and leg stumps – but the visitors were still in a good position, at 96/2.
Yet the wicket caused Hudson to suddenly look vulnerable and he was Fuller’s next victim, brilliantly caught at short midwicket by Woodhall – and at this moment Southwold sensed victory. The dangerous Martin Witheridge (5) came to the crease but his stay was short lived when Fuller had him cutting off the stumps and playing on – 13 year old Fuller recording at this stage astounding figures of 3/6 in 5.1 overs, and more importantly removing the top three dangerous players.
Winterton never got back into the game with Hodge bowling well to take 2-24 off his 9 overs including a third catch for Woodhall, whilst Southwold’s fielding remained tight as Sam Bowles saved runs in the deep. Jason Griffiths returned to clean bowl batsmen 9 and 10 for a satisfactory victory by 20 runs, yet a victory that at the halfway stage of the opposition innings looked most unlikely.