CECIL AMEY OPTICIANS
Garboldisham (149) beat Old Buckenham (133)
by 16 runs
Garboldisham gave their hopes of avoiding the drop a massive boost with a 16-run win against local rivals Old Buckenham on Saturday.
It was another key match that Garby really needed to win to help them to avoid relegation from the Cecil Amey Opticians Norfolk Alliance Premier Division.
After winning by four wickets at high-flying Cromer last time out, Garboldisham welcomed back Henry Phoenix, Alex Hogg and Kieran Pask to the side for their final home game of the campaign.
Garby batted first, but no batsman was able to go and notch up a big score and the hosts found themselves bowled all out for 149 runs.
Captain Danny Cash was the top scorer for Garboldisham in the innings, with a knock of 31, while opener Dan Constable (27) and Tom Davey (21) were the only other batsmen to pass the 20-run mark.
Andrew Lawrence (2-9) did the early damage with the ball for Old Bucks, dismissing both openers Constable and Phoenix, while Tom Alexander (2-35) claimed the wickets of Davey and Hogg, the latter for a duck, as the visitors found wickets at regular intervals.
Glen Meredith (3-39) removed the lower-order trio of Cash, Pask and Robert Fuller as Old Bucks set themselves the target of 150 runs to win.
Garby knew they would need early wickets to stand any chance of defending their low total, and that is exactly what transpired as Davey (2-27) dismissed both visiting openers Terry Perry (5) and Matthew Bint (2).
Pask (3-5) then chipped in with three wickets for just five runs, which included the removal of Old Bucks’ danger man Lawrence on 51, as the game started to turn in the home side’s favour.
A devastating spell of bowling from Hogg (4-10) saw him run through the Old Buckenham lower order and the visitors were all out for 133 in the 41st over, giving Garboldisham a vital win.
Aside from Lawrence’s half century, and double-figure contributions from Ben Askew (13) and Meredith (19), no other Old Bucks batsman scored more than five runs, with three falling for ducks.
The victory for Garby sees them go into the final weekend of the season with their fate in their own hands.
Cash’s men visit mid-table Acle tomorrow (12.30pm) one place above the relegation zone and with a six-point gap over second-from-bottom Horsford, who are the only team who could leapfrog Garby and send them down.
If Garby win tomorrow then they will guarantee themselves survival and a third successive season in the Premier Division, but if they lose their fate will depend on the result of Horsford’s game at champions Downham Town.
Old Bucks (fourth) bring their season to a close with a home clash against Sprowston tomorrow (12.30pm). Perry’s men can finish anywhere between second and fifth.