Beetley give good account of themselves with just nine players

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders S

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Beetley travelled to Great Ellingham more in hope than expectation with the now usual depleted team of nine.

After being asked to bat on a wicket lushly covered, very much contrasting to last week's rolled surface at East Harling, the now usual start ensued and at 10 overs, with the score at 27-4, a low total seemed on the cards.

Captain Michael Calvert, with a welcome return to form, was the only batsman to come to terms with the variable, mainly low, bounce, hitting 44 with six fours and a six.

In the middle of the carnage the forecasted rain appeared and held up play for an hour. After Calvert departed it was left to the final pair of Mark Mitchell and Lewis Jones to add some respectability to the score, not for the first time the season, as they added 22 to take Beetley to 93 all out in the 43rd over, coincidently the same as they achieved in the return fixture.

A highlight was Jones's first boundary in league cricket!

The home side set about the low target, reaching 45-1 inside 10 overs before, on a one man mission, Calvert took two wickets in an over and with Des Curry bowling his nagging length after 17 overs four wickets had fallen for addition of six more runs to leave the score on 51-4.

Curry bowled through for figures of 10-2-28-1 and when Calvert replaced him he had Ellingham skipper C Reeve superbly caught behind by keeper Mitchell for a duck.

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Paul Taylor (6-2-20-1) picked up his now customary first over wicket and with score at 69-6 and 24 still needed an unlikely victory was sought.

In the home game Beetley had defended 138 and the home were looking nervous with a repeat looming and had a caught behind off Taylor been given along with two close lbw decisions from the always threatening Calvert this could have been a reality.

However the home side managed to close out the game in the 28th over with four wickets left, Skipper Calvert leading from the front with 4-33 to take his season tally to 24.

Beetley now face two games to determine their fate in the Norfolk League Division Two West, starting with Gooderstone, who are also near the foot of the table, away this Saturday, 1.30pm.

In Division Three of the Norfolk Alliance Fakenham A (141) lost at home to leaders Martham (145-5) by five wickets.