Denmark lifts Bradenham in crucial victory
Bradenham put their recent run of poor form behind them with a comprehensive victory against relegation rivals Norwich.
It was Bradenham's first home win of the season as they moved out of the bottom two in Norfolk Alliance Division One.
The home side put in probably their best all round performance of the season in the field to bowl Norwich out for 158 in 44.5 overs. With Lewis Denmark in blistering form, they then reached their victory target in just 26.3 overs for the loss of only two wickets.
Having been asked to bat first Norwich were never able to gain a stranglehold as they lost a succession of wickets at key times. The reliable opening bowling attack of Brett Stolworthy and Alex Bates again did their job as the batsmen struggled on a wicket which was surprisingly dry after all the mid-week rain.
Fourteen-year-old Will Dewing, making his league debut, was introduced to the attack and picked up two quick wickets including that of visiting skipper Mark Greller for an innings top score of 22. At the end of his six-over spell he had the impressive figures of 2-10 including two maidens.
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The ground fielding was good in support of the bowlers and backed up by excellent catches by wicket keeper Steve Matthews, Alex Bates and Chad Balluza, both off their own bowling. Stolworthy (3-34) was the most successful bowler and there were also two wickets each for Bates (2-41) and Rob Thurley (2-44).
Bradenham lost Matthews early in their reply and after a slow start Denmark got into his stride with a succession of fours as the bowlers struggled to contain the run rate. Kevin Stagles provided excellent support in making 34 before falling with victory in sight. Denmark finished unbeaten on 94 with 76 of those runs coming in boundaries.
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With only 30 points separating third and eighth place, this weekend sees an equally important match away at Hales, who are only one place and one point ahead of Bradenham.
Norwich Innings: A Horsley c Matthews b Stolworthy 14, S Jessop b Dewing 13, M Greiller c Matthews b Dewing 22, C Binnie c Matthews b Thurley 8, J Latimer b Thurley 15, T Vaughan c-b Bates 20, B Flanagan c-b Balluza 11, A Mhandu b Stolworthy 20, L Sexton b Bates 3, K Rashid not out 13, W Templeman b Stolworthy 0, extras 18. Total 157. Bowling: B Stolworthy 9.5-0-34-3, A Bates 9-2-41-2, W Dewing 6-2-10-2, R Thurley 13-2-44-2, C Balluza 7-3-20-1.
Bradenham: K Stagles b Horsley 34, S Matthews c Binnie b Templeman 3, L Denmark not out 94, B Stolworthy not out 6, extras 21. Total (2 wkts) 158. Bowling: K Rashid 5-0-23-0, W Templeman 7-0-33-1, A Horsley 8.3-0-54-1, B Flanagan 6-0-40-0.
Struggling Bradenham A picked up an excellent winning draw against Alliance Division Four morning leaders Hardiingham on Saturday.
Bradenham were invited to bat on a damp wicket and openers Peter Hills and Gibb set about their task well.
With the run rate at six an over, the score progressed rapidly to 59 when a pull shot found Gibb's top edge and he was out for 17.
Hills, who has been short of his normal form this season, was now looking on top of his game with impressive drives off both the front and back foot and together with captain Ian Moody, took the score to 187 before Moody was caught for 56. Evans (25no) and Hills continued the onslaught as Bradenham posted 237-2. Hills completed his maiden century finishing on 110 not out.
Bradenham got off to a good start with Goodby, returning from injury, having opener Duckham caught behind by Gibb for 0. Downes and Goodrum moved the score along to 40, but Goodby's injury returned and Moody introduced the twin spin attack of Evans and Brown. Evans made the breakthrough having the dangerous Downes cought behind for 52. He also accounted for Goodrum (41) when Moody took an excellent catch at slip. Brown in turn pitched in with two wickets, with Moody claiming two more. The game was still within Hardingham's grasp however with Franks at the wicket and scoring freely and it looked as if Bradenham's total may have been 20 runs short. Opening bowler Hunt was reintroduced and trapped Franks adjudged lbw for 57.
The game ended with Hardingham requiring a four off the last ball, but they could only manage a single.
On Sunday Bradenham entertained Norwich in the Mid-Norfolk Sunday League.
Norwich chose to bat first and reached 49 off the first 10 overs without loss. Brett Stolworthy took the first wicket in his first over with a good one-handed caught and bowled. However this brought in the overseas player, Erik Laubscher, who changed the game in Norwich's favour. Chad Balluza took the only other wicket to fall as Norwich posted 258-2, with Laubscher unbeaten on 122.
Ash Stolworthy was the pick of the Bradenham bowling, going for just 17 off his seven overs, while J Ward also bowled well.
Bradenham had half-centuries from Rob Thurley (78) and Brett Stolworthy (50), while Ash Stolworthy made 23 not out and Alex Bates hit a quick fire 17 not out. Bradenham finished on 205-6.
This Sunday Bradenham are away to Fakenham.