Search

Acle cheered on by fans

PUBLISHED: 11:58 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:18 03 July 2010

ACLE delivered a much needed return to Norfolk Alliance Premier Division form on Saturday, with a comprehensive winning draw at Lowestoft, then on Sunday put on a brave and spirited performance to come within two wickets of reaching a second consecutive Carter Cup semi-final against EAPL outfit Horsford.

ACLE delivered a much needed return to Norfolk Alliance Premier Division form on Saturday, with a comprehensive winning draw at Lowestoft, then on Sunday put on a brave and spirited performance to come within two wickets of reaching a second consecutive Carter Cup semi-final against EAPL outfit Horsford.

At Lowestoft, Haydn Murray hit a century. Acle were put into bat and lost Rob Porter early to a one-handed catch at mid-on, the first of many excellent pieces of fielding from the home side inside the first 30 overs.

Peter Nobbs and Murray kept the scoreboard moving but Nobbs' dismissal for 37 to another diving catch was immediately followed by Wilson's departure for a duck, leaving the game in the balance at 83-3.

Dave Huggins and Murray continued their history of successful partnerships, adding 99 at around six an over. Huggins' dismissal saw Paul Newman hit some lusty blows, propelling Acle to 242-4.

Murray finished unbeaten on 126, an exceptional innings on a pitch on which no other batsmen was able to find any kind of fluency.

In the field Acle were unable to make early breakthroughs despite regularly passing the bat.

It took a sharp run-out from Tom Wilson to bring their first success, and the consistent Tom Nudd then chipped in with a second wicket.

Lowestoft sent in Daniel Edwin to pinch hit as they fell increasingly behind the rate, but after some streaky boundaries Newman held a sharp chance off Murray to dismiss him.

Lowestoft's overseas pro Sammy-Jo Avontuur set his stall out to bat through. A somewhat freakish run out removed him as he was approaching 50.

Lowestoft reset their sights on attempting to achieve 90 per cent of their target then chose to bat out the final three overs with just two wickets remaining.

As Acle crowded the bat Nudd brought some hope of a sensational finish by taking the ninth wicket with the penultimate ball of the game, but Lowestoft's last man saw out the final delivery.

Acle will be well pleased with a result that reverses their recent run of form and returns them to third place in a closely-fought division.

MoM: Haydn Murray.

On a baking Sunday afternoon, cheered by a vociferous home crowd, Acle came within two wickets of reaching a second consecutive Carter Cup semi-final.

Horsford reached their target of 165 with three-and-a-half overs to spare for the loss of eight wickets, thanks to a measured 55 not out from Billy Wilkinson.

Through-the-night dedication from groundsman Kevin Gilbert ensured Acle captain, David Huggins, had no qualms about electing to bat first.

The captain himself opened with PJ Nobbs and the pair dug in against some fine seam bowling. Both fell to smart slip catches, with Huggins making 21. Wilson and then Handley both fell before lunch as Horsford's spinners took control.

A rebuilding job was conducted with aplomb by Murray and Paul Newman. By the time Newman was run out for 28 with five overs to spare, the duo had put on 80. Murray fell soon after for a resilient 66, following an innings of class composure and temperament.

With Darren Ward running out of partners, Acle made 164 for nine.

Rowe bowled well without reward, but he was upstaged by a breathtaking display of aggressive seam bowling from Newman.

Caswell came in at four and settled with overseas batsman J Wild. N Grady took no time in removing Wild. With three wickets down and 12 overs until the tea break, Acle hoped to hammer home their advantage.

But some loose bowling was tucked into from the classy Wilkinson and Caswell, enabling the visitors to reach 90-3 at tea. The session of cricket that was to follow will live long in the memories of the dedicated, partisan crowd.

Caswell brought up his 50 after tea and was looking assured and composed along with Wilkinson, until the introduction of left-arm seamer, B A Nudd. He had Caswell caught at mid-off for 50 and two balls later removed Thomas for nought.

With the score standing at 100 for five, then Wilkinson was joined at the crease by C Spensley who proceeded to scrape, scratch, scoop, edge and cloth his way to a momentum-changing 30.

With just 20 runs required, Tom Wilson was introduced to the attack and removed Spensley with his first ball, and the next removed Smith for no score before Wilson struck again to bring out No 10 Gilliat, with five runs still required.

A collective gasp of the hundreds of fans could be heard as Gilliat tried to smash Wilson down the ground. It resulted in a two, after a finger-tip, agile effort for a catch from S Roberts.

The first ball of the next over saw Wilkinson hook Nudd for six to bring up his 50 and secure a semi-final spot for the visitors. It had been a watchful and calculated effort.

Huge thanks went to Kevin Gilbert for producing an excellent stage to play on after Saturday's saturation of the square. Acle thanked their committed supporters who helped them raise their game and turned the match into a real spectacle.

Acle CC man of the match: Haydn Murray.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury