Norfolk Cricket League round-up: Southwold rewrite the record books

Reepham & Salle's Joe Hollis. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE

Reepham & Salle's Joe Hollis. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE - Credit: Archant

Bottom-tier Southwold made Norfolk Cricket League history by annihilating struggling Hethersett & Tas Valley C.

Bottom-tier Southwold made Norfolk Cricket League history by annihilating struggling Hethersett & Tas Valley C.

Unbeaten knocks of 156 by Sam Booker and Luke Bailey's 56, along with Stefan Clifford's 73, pushed the mid-table outfit towards a mammoth total of 405-4. And with Ed Garrard ripping through Tas' line-up, the biggest victory margin recorded in the NCL was created.

Electing to bat first, Southwold's openers got off to a flyer. Forty-one runs were taken off the first five overs as Matt Barbrook in particular picked the gaps and ran hard. When he was caught at slip off a good ball from youngster Tom Worley for 16, Clifford came in and kept the run rate up.

Alex Britten was caught soon after reaching his half century in the 14th which proved pivotal to the game as it resulted in Booker coming to the wicket and, in tandem with Clifford, the pair scored heavily. Booker brought up his 50 after his colleague had done the same and the runs kept coming, even after Clifford – who hit 13 fours – was run out.

David Barbrook played a typically breezy hand, smacking five boundaries and a six in his 40 before he was bowled by Davies - but at the other end Booker had reached his century. The final partnership laid the runs on thick and fast as Booker, cutting loose, was joined by Bailey who flogged the bowling to all parts and brought up his maiden 50. It was Southwold's highest total in living memory, which included the largest individual score by any of the club's players for at least the past decade.

In reply, Tas were subjected to a display of controlled bowling from Garrard who recorded his maiden Southwold fifer in his first season with the club. His stunning haul of 7-26 saw basement boys Hethersett skittled for just 56 in what was a humiliating 350-run defeat – a record itself that could stand for a number of years.

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That huge triumph left Southwold, fourth, four points behind Beeston who beat Reepham & Salle A by three wickets. M. Wall hit 51 while R. Wall added 58 to his side's total as they kept the pressure up on Great Witchingham B in second. They saw off Swanton Morley A to remain 20 points behind leaders Beetley – who thumped Hingham by nine wickets to continue their impressive start.

At the other end of the pyramid, Martham continue to fly high at the top of Division One. John Allen's mammoth 181, and Brett Colclough's impressive unbeaten 124, helped the league leaders post a daunting 406-6 against Ketteringham Hall.

That total never looked in doubt as Alex Sayer's 5-32, after he posted a decent 70 with the bat, restricted Hall to 149 all out in reply.

Great Yarmouth lost ground in second by suffering a 30-run defeat to East Harling – who had all-rounder Rob Free to thank for their victory. He registered 54 and also took six wickets for just 41 runs in a dominant display. That result opened up a 36-point lead at the summit. Horsford B and Belton continue to breathe down their neck.

Sakhib Shaib's 75, plus four wickets apiece for Robbie Clark and Mark Balcombe, saw Horsford, in third, edge out the side who sit directly behind them. Both now have a reasonable gap over Happisburgh who lead the best of the rest.

Bystanders' Steve Andrews (5-29) and Rollesby's David Cook (6-29) were the other star performers with the ball during Saturday's top-flight fixtures.

In the race to join the big boys of Division One, Julian Dismore was writing himself into Felthorpe folklore during their comfortable triumph over St Andrews.

The batsman set a new club record by smashing 172 as his team remained top of the table by four points. Blundeston won't go away in second though as they beat Sprowston B by six wickets to remain hot on the leaders' heels.

Eaton dismissed Bungay A for 26 in Division Three, largely thanks to an exceptional spell by off-spinner Nigel Massingham.

When he began his 11th over his figures were a quite remarkable 10-4-5-7 and the board displayed the somewhat unusual score of 14-9. Only a decision to take the initiative by middle-order batsman Ramm (17 not out) added twelve runs in the final over.

Only three Bungay batsmen got off the mark as Massingham ripped through their upper and middle order, inducing a trio to nick the ball to keeper Matt Duke, bowling two and persuading two others to hole out to Sam Butcher – one at square cover and the other at a perfectly-placed deep mid-wicket. Massingham became only the third Eaton bowler to claim a seven-wicket haul since the introduction of the 12-over maximum in 1992.

In Division Four, league leaders Reepham & Salle triumphed, as did second placed Saham Toney A and North Elmham in third. Division Five pacesetters Hethersett & Tas Valley B and Gillingham succeeded once more in what looks set to become a two-horse race for the title – even this early on in the campaign.

Table-toppers Brisley (Division Six) and Great Ellingham (Division Seven) also won their matches.