On a bitterly cold day the youngsters of North Elmham A played host to an equally young Dereham B side in this Norfolk League encounter. Skipper Josh Hall won the toss won the toss for North Elmham and elected to bat first on a good looking, well prepared wicket, opening with himself and Justin Barker. Opening bowlers for Dereham B were Alex Johnson and Josh Rowe who both bowled accurate lines and Elmham struggled to get the ball off the square initially. Justin Barker was the first wicket to fall, bowled by a great ball from Josh Rowe. This brought in Phil Bend looking to build on his
excellent innings of the previous week, and he quickly looked to set about the task. Unfortunately his reply was brief, a great ball from Josh Rowe pitched outside off and moved back through the gate upset the stumps comprehensively. This brought new club signing Callum Futter to the middle to join Hall and the pair steadied the innings and steadily raised the scoring rate for the next ten overs, until Hall was bowled by a shorter pitched ball from young Sean Lake. With 17 overs gone the home side were 56-3 and had a good base to build on. Anthony Mickleburgh had joined Futter and these two forged what turned out to be a partnership of 86 with young Futter hitting the ball extremely well and regularly piercing the Dereham field, yielding several boundaries. Mickleburgh was playing sensibly, keeping out the good deliveries and punishing anything wayward. It wasn't until the 32nd over that Anthony Mickleburgh fell to Neal Widdows after a very well made 27. Experienced Mick Kinder was next in and he took up the mantle left by Mickleburgh to keep the scoreboard rapidly ticking over. Alas, in the 39th over Callum Futter fell, bowled by Alex Johnson for a creditable 91 on his debut for the team. Danny Hall joined Kinder and there was no let up in the run rate with the pair playing some lovely shots, one drive from Hall was an especially well timed 4. Mick Kinder fell in the very last over after making a creditable 44 leaving Danny Hall (11) and young Oliver Jaggard to see the innings closed on 226-6.
In reply Dereham opened with skipper Arthur Lake and Ciaran Coupland facing the Elmham opening attack of Josh Hall and Mick Kinder. It wasn't long before the first wicket fell as Coupland was bowled for 1 by a great Yorker from Hall in the third over. This brought Peter Hockley to join Lake and he soon looked to get about the Elmham attack, hitting anything short of a length. In the 8th over though his luck ran out as he drove a ball from Kinder straight to cover, where young Danny Hall took an excellent catch just above his feet. This was obviously the turning point in the match as Dereham put the shutters up and went into defensive mode. It wasn't until the 27th over that the next wicket fell when Dean Coupland who had batted very well to keep his wicket for 7 was bowled by a ball from Phil Bend. From here on in the Dereham innings was solely in survival mode and they did this extremely well, frustrating the Elmham bowlers, Olly Jaggard and Josh Hall both picked up further wickets and the other debutant Nick Beale claimed a further 2 as Dereham finished up on 85-7. A really good game, played in the right spirit with the young players of Dereham never losing their desire to do well and the youngsters of Elmham just enjoying playing the game, which is exactly as it should be.
Next week Elmham A are at home again, hosting Swanton Morley A, start at 1:30pm.