Hoping to build on their previous weeks win North Elmham were away at Castle Acre at the weekend. After the weeks rain hopes were not high for good conditions and the grey overcast on Saturday morning did nothing to alleviate the mood. Looking at the ground it was generally agreed that it was going to be a good toss to win and bowl first on, as the forecast conditions were always to be getting better and making use of the heavy atmosphere was looking the way to go. Unfortunately Elmham’s captain Ben Hunt lost the toss and Castle Acre had no hesitation in putting Elmham in to bat on a pitch that looked as though it would certainly be tricky in the early stages. James White and Olly Hall opened the batting for Elmham against
the opening attack of Elliott Whiting and Tom Brown, Whiting in particular looking very lively and accurate. All thoughts of a tricky pitch soon proved accurate with White bowled for 7 by Whiting by a beautiful delivery that cut back sharply after a series of deliveries that moved the other way. Iain Sinclair followed shortly after for 2 with Steve Shoesmith next for just a single, 33-3, déjà vu of the first few games was definitely the order of the day. New batsman Marcus Webb in partnership with Olly Hall who was steadily gaining in confidence had other ideas however and runs slowly started to accumulate with the bad ball being punished to punctuate the resolute defence still necessary by the pitch conditions. The pair added a good 60 runs for the 4th wicket, the 5th however soon followed with Clive Lonsdale (0) giving a catch to give Whiting a second wicket. Lenny Drummie added a breezy 17 to the proceedings including an excellent 6 whilst Hall was c & b by Luke Fryett for 75 (133-6). Ben Hint could only add 5 to the score whilst George Bridges scored a brisk 17. North Elmham were finally all out for163 with only 4 balls left in the innings.
During tea the cloud started breaking and the sun started to show it’s face (somewhat later than forecast) and Castle Acre started their innings cautiously as the pitch was still not easy. Opener Tim Venes was first to fall for 9 c&b George Bridges in the 9th over with Daniel Cross falling in the next over, bowled by Ben Hunt for 1. Jason Fryett and Nick Whales steadied the ship adding 43 for the next wicket with Jason Bowlby-Whiting following an over later, bowled by Marcus Webb for 0. Nick Whales was still there and together with new batsman Elliott Whiting they steadily laid about the Elmham attack getting the scoring rate up to the needed mark. The partnership was pivotal as when the next wicket fell at 125-5 (Whales 56) the target was in sight with 6 overs to go. Luke Fryett (8) and Tom Brown (7no) had excellent partnerships with Whiting giving him as much of the ball as possible. The conditions were now definitely easier with the outfield speeding up in the sunshine and coupled with good singles it was looking harder for Elmham. It took until the last over (also with 4 balls to spare) for Castle Acre to reach the target, so near yet so far for. Games don’t get much tighter that that, in honesty, it was a shame someone had to loose, unfortunately in this case it was North Elmham.
Next weeks game is at home against Northwold, start 13:30 with the weather forecast for the week looking hopeful for a change.