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Old Bucks beat the weather to win again

Rob Thurley has hailed the focused approach his Old Buckenham team-mates have shown to record six wins from their opening six games to sit top of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division One table.

On a day which saw many of the sides around them unable to play due to the bad weather, Old Bucks were left to play the waiting game in their rain-affected clash with Beccles Town on Saturday. The tie was reduced to 20 overs and did not get under way until several hours after the scheduled start time.

But it was worth the wait for the early Division One pace setters as, after bowling out visitors Beccles for 66, in 17.3 overs, Old Bucks eased to victory on 67-2, winning by eight wickets and extending their lead at the top to 32 points.

Old Buckenham taking a wicket in their match against Beccles..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (11979409)
Old Buckenham taking a wicket in their match against Beccles..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (11979409)

“There was a lot of waiting around on Saturday, but we were desperate to get a game on,” Thurley, the Old Bucks captain, said.

“The latest we could start the game was at five. It stopped raining at around three-ish, and by the point when we’d taken off the covers and sorted everything out, we were out by five and the weather turned out quite nice in the end.

“The pitch dried up quite nicely, and the guys bowled really well. We thought the wicket wouldn’t be very good for batting, but to bowl them out for 66, after waiting around for so long, it was a really good performance.”

The Beccles wickets were shared around the Old Bucks bowling attack, as Glen Meredith (1-10) struck first with the dismissal of opener Michael Fisher, caught by Matthew Bint. And no more runs had been added to the scoreboard when Robert Porter, the other Beccles opener, was caught by James Heaney, off the bowling of Charlie Tunstall (1-14).

From 18-2, the visitors went from 41-2 to 47-4, as Thurley (1-19) and Daniel Bint (1-14) took a wicket each.

Beccles reached 61-4, but lost their last six wickets for just five runs, as Jack Grant (3-2) and Chris Howes (2-6) proved to be ruthless with the ball.

The run chase got off to a strong start for Old Bucks, as openers Bint (22) and Benjamin Shearing (33) reached 57 without loss.

Marcus Hayes (2-12) dismissed both openers in quick succession to temporarily stunt the home side, before Thurley and Benjamin Smart took Old Bucks over the finishing line.

“It’s been a great start to the season,” Thurley said. “We’ve bounced back really well after being relegated last year.

“Everyone has been focused for every game and that has played a big part in how well we’ve done.”

Old Bucks visit basement side Topcroft tomorrow (12pm).

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