Norfolk Cricket Alliance round-up: Diss pull off comeback win, Old Buckenham breeze to victory, Garboldisham lose season opener
Diss began life back in Lacons Brewery Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division One after relegation last season with a 23-run victory at home against Bradenham on Saturday.
After plenty of wet weather leading up to the new season, it was unsurprising when the visitors Bradenham opted to bowl first.
Openers Mark Williamson and Daniel Taylor started steadily for Diss against some accurate bowling, before the latter fell for 11.
Williamson, along with David Tooke, ticked the score along to 29-1 before what can only be described as a catastrophic collapse at the hands of the Bradenham bowlers, in particular Martin Fox, who finished with incredible figures of 4-12.
With only three of the top eight reaching double figures, and none passing 14, Diss found themselves in total strife at 53-7.
The returning Campbell Young played an enterprising innings in an attempt to get the hosts up to a competitive total.
It just about summed up the batting performance when he was involved in a mix up with Andy Gregory and fell for 12, leaving Diss at 68-9 and in danger of an opening day embarrassment.
However, number 11 James Skilleter had other ideas. After surviving a very close LBW call first ball, he, along with Gregory, patiently built a partnership, much to the frustration of Bradenham’s players and staff.
The partnership had reached what turned out to be a match-winning 41, when Skilleter was bowled by Alex Bates for 22, leaving Gregory unbeaten on 15 and Diss in with a sniff after being bowled all out for 109.
In reply, the home side knew early wickets would be the key if they were to get an unlikely victory.
Bradenham openers Brendan Scott and William Dewing took the score to 24-0 and a win for the away side looked a formality.
A bowling change at either end then saw the game turn, with Tooke taking a sharp chance to get rid of the dangerous Dewing off the bowling of Daniel Taylor.
The visitors seemed to panic from there on, as Williamson (3-10) bowled Tim Hoare with a beauty and, when skipper Rob Ellis and Matthew Baybrook also both fell to the same bowler, Bradenham were 49-4 and suddenly it was game on.
While Scott (33) was still there, Diss knew the game was far from over, but an inspired bowling change from Lewis Taylor saw the veteran Gregory claim the key wicket, with Jordon Warren taking a smart catch at short cover.
The score was 64-5 and with Diss dropping multiple catches in the field, it looked like it would prove extremely costly.
However, Gregory (2-21), Lewis Taylor (1-9) and Daniel Taylor (4-23) would pick up the next four wickets between them to leave the visitors on a scarcely believable 82-9 and Diss on the verge of securing a remarkable win.
Nerves were still jangling on both sides when Bates (25), having been dropped twice, was joined by last man Fox.
But after striking a sweet boundary, Daniel Taylor would pick up the final wicket of an excellent bowling effort to bowl the visitors out for 86.
Diss make the trip to Downham Stow II tomorrow (12pm).
Elsewhere in Division One, Old Buckenham enjoyed a much more comfortable start to the new season after beating Swardeston II by nine wickets at the weekend.
Glen Meredith (5-12) and Nathan Muggerdige (2-14) were both in fine form as they helped bowl the visitors Swardeston all out for just 55 runs.
Max Stacey (1-6), Oli Howes (1-14) and Matthew Heuschneider (1-5) also contributed with a wicket apiece, as Rob Goodwin’s men were left with a fairly straightforward run chase to pick up a win on the opening day.
Openers Matthew Bint (36) and Muggerdige (14 not out) almost got the job done by themselves, but the former was dismissed with the score at 54-1 and only two runs away from the finish line.
Ian Harrison stepped in at three and partnered Muggeridge to get the job done at 56-1.
Old Bucks visit Bradenham tomorrow (12pm).
Garboldisham slipped to a five-wicket defeat at home to North Runcton on the opening day of the Lacons Brewery Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division season.
Garby lost the toss at The Langley and were put in to bat first, but made the worst possible start as openers Jonny Leech and Tom Collishaw were both out for ducks.
Louis Hart (15), Craig Estlea (18) and debutant Suraj Rajesh (39) looked to rebuild the innings, while an unbeaten knock of 25 from wicket-keeper Matt Collinge, and 39 extras, took the home side to 161.
Phil King (2-24), in his first game as Garby captain, and Joshua Rowe (2-29) both claimed two wickets as they looked to avoid an opening day defeat.
But Michael Crisp (29), Jasper Payne (28) and Alexander Payne (38 not out) steered the visitors to victory on 162-5.
Garby make the trip to Brooke tomorrow (12pm).
Meanwhile in Division Two, George Southgate took an incredible seven wickets to help Garboldisham II to an emphatic eight-wicket win at Dereham.
Southgate (7-13) and Will Goulding (3-8) tore through the Dereham batting order to bowl the home side all out for just 22.
Jack Stevenson (12 no) helped take Garby over the line at 26-2, after the visitors had lost opener Jonny Wyatt (seven) and Andrew Whistler (zero).
The seconds host Great Witchingham II at The Langley tomorrow (1pm).