Beetley dig deep to record their first win of the season


- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Beetley secured their first win of the season in the Norfolk League Division Two West in a low-scoring contest that ebbed and flowed all afternoon, defeating Great Ellingham by 35 runs.

Asked to bat first Beetley struggled early on and slipped to 29-2 after 10 overs.

Matt Smith, with 27, and top scorer Mark Hinchliffe (43 with two sixes and four fours) scored well on a two-paced pitch affected by the overnight rain to lead the recovery.

Alex Jenkins, with quick fire 23, helped the lower middle order to 121-9. With still 10 overs to bat the final pair of Mark Mitchell (seven not out) and Lewis Jones (10 not out) took the score to 138, frustrating the visitors and giving Beetley something to bowl at.

Great Ellingham's reply couldn't have got off to a worse start. A needless run out courtesy of captain Michael Calvert and a wicket apiece for Matt Smith (3-1-3-1) and Gary Hinchliffe saw the visitors 6-3 in six overs.

The theme continued and after 20 overs Great Ellingham were 36-6 when Hinchcliffe had bowled through for the stunning return of 3-14 in his 10 overs.

Beetley sniffed victory but it was not to be straightforward.

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The fielding side were down to eight men and a recovery of sorts then began led by A Billings and in partnership with R Smith he took the score from 44-7 in 22 overs to 98 in the 39th over.

With just six fielders Beetley's bowlers bowled well to restrict scoring opportunities and the fielders threw and ran themselves ragged, led by keeper Mitchell who again excelled, conceding no byes to lead the rearguard action.

With the score on 98 Hinchliffe finally made the breakthrough, having Billings well caught by Tom Esterhuizen for a fine 40 and soon the final wicket fell with another run out, again courtesy of Michael Calvert and Great Ellingham were finally bowled out for 103.

Beetley's bowlers, after the openers had to leave, stuck well to their task, supported by the fielders.

Mark Hinchliffe, after his batting efforts, ran up the hill for 1-27 in seven overs while Michael Calvert (1-22 in nine overs), Alex Jenkins (8-0-28-0) and Luke Corden (3-0-8-1) kept things tight.

Beetley entertain the team immediately above them in the table, Gooderstone, on Saturday at 1.30pm, looking to build on the victory and climb up the league.