Nail-biters for North Elmham

North Elmham (8pts) lost to Horsford C (26) by four runs in the Lucas Fettes Norfolk League Division Six

North Elmham lost a thrilling game at Horsford.

Horsford elected to bat on a good-looking track in very blustery conditions. In his first over Keeble removed Harvey for a duck and two overs later removed the dangerous Collinson for 14.

However, the usually reliable Elmham bowlers sent down too many short-pitched deliveries on a pitch lacking pace, allowing the new Horsford batsmen to play themselves in with plenty of four balls.

From 21-2, Horsford added 65 before the more miserly Sinclair (41) tempted Aldridge into a rash shot, the catch well taken by Keeble.

At the other end Grobbelaar went for 29 in his first four overs. To stem the flow, skipper Sinclair brought on Joplin who bowled Clarke for 26.

Something special was needed to remove McGowan and Olivier took the catch of the season on the mid-wicket boundary, diving full length, to give Grobbelaar his first wicket in his second spell. Grobbelaar took his first five-wicket haul since joining the club.

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Keeble sprained his ankle making a great stop on the boundary which meant Elmham played out the remaining overs with only 10 players as Horsford made 203-9.

Despite the early loss of Malherbe the Elmham batsmen set about their task with steely determination and gave the Horsford bowlers a piece of their own medicine, plundering anything loose.

Slabbert, promoted to No 3, reached his maiden club 50 off 29 balls. Olivier was also playing well and this pair added 72 before Olivier was bowled by Francis for 29. Keeble, with a heavily strapped ankle, was soon out.

Sinclair was content to give Slabbert the strike, although this tactic was questioned when Slabbert smashed an enormous six onto his skipper's car.

With Elmham well ahead of the required run rate, Francis bowled Slabbert for an excellent 71 made off 42 balls in 58 minutes.

A further 35 runs were added to take the Elmham score to 149 before Joplin was bowled by Horsford young bowler Lake for 19. With the score on 170 Sinclair was trapped lbw for 32.

Pummell removed Kay first delivery with a rank half-tracker that Kay hooked straight to the waiting Francis. Grobbelaar was looking in control before he became Lake's second lbw victim for 11 with the score on 186 for eight.

The score edged to 193 before Lowe was caught for one off Pummell.

Needing 10 to win but with only one wicket remaining Tindall hit a magnificent straight six to bring the win into touching distance.

However, next delivery Tindall tried to repeat his big hit, the young Horsford fielder taking a brilliant running catch in the deep to leave Elmham all out for 199, just five runs short of victory.

After the game a disappointed Elmham skipper Sinclair was keen to point out the positives of a much improved (if unsuccessful) batting performance.

'Whilst Elmham remain third from bottom of the league we go into next week's fixture against Ketteringham Hall with more confidence in our batting, but we need to stop giving away so many four balls when bowling.'

Next: Ketteringham Hall at home, start 2pm.

Horsford B: B Collinson b Keeble 14, A Harvey b Keeble 0, G Aldridge c Keeble b Sinclair 41, R Clarke b Joplin 26, O Inwards b Grobbelaar 45, J McGowan c Olivier b Grobbelaar 36, M Spenceley lbw Grobbelaar 0, E Lake c Tindall b Grobbelaar 16, W Pummell not out 11, N Francis lbw Grobbelaar 0, S Collinson not out 1; extras 13. Total (9 wkts) 203. Bowling: A Kay 9-1-35-0, A Keeble 10-1-40-2, E Grobbelaar 12-1-63-5, I Sinclair 9-4-26-1, R Joplin 5-0-26-1.

North Elmham: J Olivier b Francis 29, S Malherbe c Aldridge b Collinson 1, C Slabbert b Francis 71, A Keeble c Pummell b Francis 0, I Sinclair lbw Lake 32, R Joplin b Lake 19, A Kay c Francis b Pummell 8, E Grobbelaar lbw b Lake 11, C Tindall c Harvey b Francis 14, J Lowe c Harvey b Pummell 1, J Livings not out 0; extras 13. Total 199. Bowling: S Collinson 8-2-45-1, E Lake 10-2-37-3, R Clarke 3-0-16-0, N Francis 10-2-44-4, M Spenceley 6-1-35-0, W Pummell 4-0-14-2.

North Elmham (21pts) beat Barney (6) by 3 wkts in Mid-Norfolk Sunday League Birbeck Division Four

A nail-biter of a match was ultimately won when it looked lost, the opposite result to the previous day at Horsford.

Barney elected to bat on a deteriorating pitch. Captain C Alexander (2) was bowled by Andy Kay,. A Riseborough batted well before being bowled by J Riches for 24.

P Moore formed the main resistance against the good Elmham bowling, playing a watchful innings of 18 not out, but was fortunate to be dropped by Tony Garrod.

Riches added the wickets of S Smyth (1) who played on, D Folley who was bowled for one and L Riseborough (1) was nicely caught by Stephan Malherbe. Andy Kay also claimed C Fuller (1) and also bowled Ginge (0).

Elmham captain Callum Tindall was another bowler who claimed three wickets as Barney finished on 86 off 38.1 overs of very tidy bowling.

Stephan Malherbe (22) batting well before skying a catch. A Garrod (1) was bowled by a ball that kept low. Elmham faced a familiar mid-order collapse when John Livings (2), Callum Tindall (4) and Josh Hall (1) were bowled.

Andy Kay added 15 runs before becoming another victim of J Dagless, then followed a partnership of 29 by Kevin Hall (20) and his 13-year-old son Ollie, who played superbly at the other end for eight not out.

The game was finished when Jamie Lowe hit a crisp cover drive for four, bringing the Elmham total to 89-7 from 30.3 overs. The Barney opening bowlers both bowled impressively showing both good pace and accuracy, T Bird ending with 3-21 and J. Dagless claiming 3-30.

The next Elmham match is at Dersingham on Sunday meet there at 1.30pm or at the Railway pub at 12.30pm.

Barney: C Alexander b A Kay 2, A Riseborough b J Riches 24, P Moore not out 18, S.Smyth b J Riches 1, T Bird st J Lowe b C Tindall 8, J Dagless c-b C Tindall 8, C Fuller c-b A Kay 1, Ginge b A Kay 0, D Folley b Riches 1, L Riseborough c S Malherbe b J Riches 1, L James c-b C Tindall 3; extras 18. Total 86 all out (38.1 overs). Bowling: A Kay 10-4-16-3, J Hall 10-5-16-0, J Riches 9-1-22-4, C Tindall 8.1-0-25-3.

North Elmham: S Malherbe c C Alexander b J Dagless 22, A Garrod b T Bird 1, J Livings b T Bird 2, C Tindall b J Dagless 4, J Hall b T Bird 1, A Kay c Riseborough b J Dagless 15, O Hall not out 8, K Hall b P Moore 20, J Lowe not out 4; extras 12. Total 89-7 (30.3 overs). Bowling: J Dagless 10-2-30-3, T Bird 10-4-21-3, L Riseborough 4-0-6-0, L James 3-0-22-0, A Riseborough 1.3-1-5-0, P Moore 1-0-3-1.