Good weekend for Bradenham CC

Bradenham entertained Bradfield in their final home league fixture on a firm but green track and climbed to third place in Norfolk Alliance Division One.

Bradenham entertained Bradfield in their final home league fixture on a firm but green track and climbed to third place in Norfolk Alliance Division One.

Bradenham skipper Brett Gates won the toss and inserted the visitors. With Bradfield safe, skipper, Yarham went with a policy of youth and experience in his early batting line-up. Young Grapes (5) was the first to go, with Tianne Mostert having him caught behind by Steven Matthews. Scannell soon followed with Mostert bowling him middle stump.

The veteran Abbs (20) stood firm . Cator continued to apply pressure, bowling six maidens in his 11-over spell, which allowed Mostert (3-32) to vary his line and length, and he was rewarded when he bowled Abbs with a fine in-swinging yorker.

The change bowling saw Ry Findlay set the trap in the deep and Grey holed out for 18. Bradfield, sent in the Australian Holmes and Steven Bidewell to up the rate. Holmes punished Bradenham after being dropped twice in single figures and made a fine half-century before becoming Ry Findlay's second victim.

With the visitors chasing the 175 mark, Yarham (22) hit a flurry of boundaries before being run out. Caffyn and Thurley slowed the runs, with the latter picking up two wickets in successive balls, and the extra bowling points leaving the hosts to chase down 175 for victory.

Bradenham's Luke Findlay and Rob Thurley looked settled before Holmes had Thurley caught behind by stand-in keeper Carl Wiseman. Mostert and Findlay (22) pushed the score past the 50 mark when Findlay became the first of Robinson's three victims, caught by Locke.

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Ry Findlay was dismissed eight balls later, caught behind from Robinson.

Robinson and Wiseman teamed up again, dismissing Mostert soon after his half-century, from a lifting ball. Kym Osborne showed good intent, but was removed lbw by the seasoned Yarham, who dismissed Mark Cator and leaving them on 115-6 with 11 overs to go.

Gates showed faith in the youngsters Greg Caffyn (21) and Brett Stolworthy, who played without fear and found the spaces. Caffyn was the third victim of Yarham when he was deceived by the arm ball.

Bradenham still needed 50 runs when Steven Matthews joined Stolworthy. Stolworthy eased the nerves, smashing 13 off Scannell's over, which included a six. With five to win in the final over, it was fitting that Matthews hit a boundary to finish the game.

Bradeham A's well-earned victory over Saxlingham A secured one of the two Norfolk League Division Four promotion places. If Great Melton A lose their final match of the season then Bradenham will be crowned champions.

It's been a great season for Bradenham, the only disappointment being the weather, which has quite possibly denied them top spot.

Bradenham elected to field first and the pudding of a wicket didn't produce too many positives from a batting perspective. Both openers went cheaply to Steve Watts (1-17) and Al Bates (1-6).

A stand between D English and A Browne posed Bradenham a few problems until the early introduction of Iain Brown (3-14) paid dividends as he picked up both wickets in the same over. Martin Fox (1-13 from 10 overs) bowled tidily from one end and Brown, followed by skipper Ian Moody (1-19), kept things pretty tight from the other.

At 46-6 Saxlingham were in big trouble, but some lusty hitting from Fowles, 27 before being well caught on the boundary by Lewis Denmark, took the home side to a more respectable total.

Two superb runs-outs orchestrated by Brown and Mark Hunter put the icing on the cake as Bradenham bowled the hosts out for 79. One of the highlights was a master-class in keeping by ex-Essex stumper Bob Richards, who at 73 kept like a 20-year-old.

Patrick Dewing and Marcus Evans started cautiously on a wicket that began to 'pop' and scored 34 before Evans was caught behind trying to evade a snorter for seven.

Moody joined Dewing and elected to take a quick single with Dewing on a different wavelength and he didn't make it. He scored a fine 35.

Hunter, Denmark and Peter Hills all went cheaply as Fowles and Browne applied the pressure. The final runs were scored in the 29th over by Moody (15 not out) and Bob Richards to give Bradeham victory.