Bradenham and Mattishall lock horns

BRADENHAM could not quite gain a win against local Alliance Division One rivals Mattishall on Saturday but secured a winning draw, taking 17 points.Bradenham won the toss and elected to bat on a dry pitch.

BRADENHAM could not quite gain a win against local Alliance Division One rivals Mattishall on Saturday but secured a winning draw, taking 17 points.

Bradenham won the toss and elected to bat on a dry pitch. Mattishall's opening bowlers, Nathan Gosling and Sanjay bowled tight lines, and Steven Matthews and Luke Findlay were happy taking the singles.

Sanjay had Findlay (17) caught at mid-wicket by Stokes. Rob Thurley (13) started well and tried to increase the run rate before being run out.

Patrick Dewing continued his purple patch and went about building a fine innings with Matthews. With the score on 113 and a 59 partnership, birthday boy Matthews (48) was bowled by Gosling.

Kevin Blakey continued to increase the rate before Jason Cole clean bowled him. Mattishall continued to apply pressure with Tom Spalding bagging a brace, removing Dewing for 50 and Mike Taylor two balls later.

Mattishall reintroduced Nathan Gosling who removed Kyle Goodge (16), Greg Caffyn (10) and Mark Cator in a five-ball spell ending with deserved figures of 4-46 and Bradenham all out for 189.

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Mattishall showed their intentions with Stokes and Cross dispatching Greg Caffyn for 25 in four overs, in contrast with the metronomic Mark Cator bowling four maidens.

Cross made a fatal error in calling for a run and running out his partner Stokes for 16. The introduction of Brett Gates struck gold as he trapped Sanjay leg before and then bowled Cross (27).

The hard-hitting Jason Cole and powerful Garth Stoltz came together with the score on 63 and appeared to be in the driving seat before Cole was caught in the deep by a brilliant diving catch by Luke Findlay.

Paul Beaumont returned to his old stomping ground and played solidly and looked to build his innings with Stoltz (34) only dealing in boundaries.

The change bowling of Rob Thurley went to plan having Stolz caught behind from Matthews closely followed by Patrick Dewing taking a low, one-handed catch, to dismiss Gosling at slip.

With the home side applying the pressure Brett Gates returned to the attack and clean bowled Richard Gosling and had Tom Spalding caught behind by Matthews, first ball leaving the visitors 148-8.

With a tight finish looming and the visitors still looking for 90 per cent Gates (5-35) had Beaumont (45) well caught by Dewing at cover point leaving Jason Spalding and Mark Fordham to block out three overs to save the game and stop Bradenham picking up a further seven points.

Bradenham A skipper Ian Moody and Martin Fox each claimed five wickets in the 130-run Norfolk League Division Four win over Rackheath. Moody was in form with the bat, too, making 73, with Graeme Campbell scoring 67 in a near 250 total.

On a scorching day at the UEA, Moody was relieved to win the toss and have first use of what normally is a very good wicket.

Enforced changes meant a new opening partnership of Marcus Evans and ex-Horsford player Campbell. Both started awkwardly but runs began to flow before Evans was bowled by the tireless O'Bierne (4-57) for 12. edge

The introduction of Sussex League bowler Awcock provided a different challenge with greater pace and bounce, but Moody was particularly severe on him, cutting him for five boundaries. Campbell went for a well-crafted 67 and Moody later for 73. Mark Hunter (17) and Lewis Denmark (24) both scored quick runs, and with Kim Osbourne contributing 21, the score rattled on to 249-8.

The wicket began to deteriorate and despite a frustrating but fine opening partnership between Symonds and S Rymarz, it was generally felt Bradenham only needed a breakthrough. Steve Watts and Al Bates bowled well with little luck, and the introduction of spinner Denmark didn't bring the expected results.

Skipper Moody came on and in his first over bowled Symonds for 19. Rymarz was well caught by Osbourne for 37. Meanwhile Fox was hitting top gear and bowled Banham for a duck. A great reflex catch by Evans accounted for Brown and wickets tumbled as Rackheath capitulated, losing eight wickets for 28 runs.

Some lusty blows from Townsend took the score past 100 before the metronomical Fox ended proceedings with Rackheath on 117. Fox finished with 5-33 and Moody 5-11.

Former Essex keeper Bob Richards made his debut for Bradenham A, and even at the age of 74 gave a masterclass, standing up to all the bowlers on a difficult surface. Bradenham took a maximum 26 points for the second consecutive week.