Bradenham beaten on a day that umpires catch the eye

Swaffham celebrate claiming the wicket of Beccles' George Milton. Picture: Antony Kelly

Swaffham celebrate claiming the wicket of Beccles' George Milton. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

So, did you hear the one about the American and the Frenchman? Both stood as umpires in the same cricket match.

No, it's not a joke, while it's certainly not something you hear too often, but it was great to see cricket becoming more cosmopolitan in rural Norfolk.

The match in question was the Norfolk Alliance Division Two match between Bradenham and Hethersett and Tas Valley at the Green which finally started at 1.15pm after some heavy lunchtime rain.

The visitors won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to field. Both the pitch conditions and Bradenham's poor form needed to be overcome if the home team were to cause an upset, with Hethersett a long way ahead in the table.

Despite a solid start between Mike Taylor and Brett Gates the former was caught at slip with the score on 26. This kicked off a familiar Bradenham innings with regular wickets falling amongst some confident boundary finding.

The biggest partnership was 35 for the fifth wicket between Rob Ellis and Patrick Dewing but once the latter fell with the score on 92 the rest of the innings lasted just 10 more overs as the home side were bowled out for just 120.

Bradenham really were up against it after tea with one of the division's leading run scorers, Ian Bryce, opening up for Hethersett.

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The home side did manage an early breakthrough as Will Dewing removed Matthews in the seventh over with the score on 19. But this was to prove a false dawn, as after a couple of strong lbw shouts were turned down against Bryce the visitors scored freely off of any bad balls and soon pushed the score along consistently.

The 100 came up in the 26th over and despite spinners Iain Brown and Ellis beating the outside edge a number of times no wickets fell until the 30th over when youngster Joe Taylor was into his second over.

He took two wickets with consecutive balls on 115 to add some smiles on a disappointing afternoon. However, 10 balls later Bryce completed the victory finishing on an unbeaten 71.

Bradenham are at home to Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers on Saturday (1pm).

Bradenham A picked up their third win of the season in Division Five after making 219-4 against Lowestoft A and then restricting them to 176-9.