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Big unbeaten stand boosts Winterton

PUBLISHED: 09:58 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:07 03 July 2010

An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 187 between Liam Boylan who scored exactly 100 not out, his maiden league century, and Geoff Roper, who scored 86 not out, formed the substantial base for Winterton's victory by 62 runs over old rivals Hardingham in Norfolk League Division Two.

An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 187 between Liam Boylan who scored exactly 100 not out, his maiden league century, and Geoff Roper, who scored 86 not out, formed the substantial base for Winterton's victory by 62 runs over old rivals Hardingham in Norfolk League Division Two.

Invited to bat first, Winterton were 52-3 after 15 overs. The three dismissals were all slightly unfortunate, with

Noble-Parker (4) caught behind off a thin edge, Clarke (10) caught on the boundary, and Witheridge (12) having the ball spin back onto the stumps after playing a defensive shot.

The game could have gone in favour of either team and Roper and Boylan firstly set about ensuring Hardingham could not press home any advantage. Having achieved this, the pair began to accelerate the scoring rate.

Roper initially was scoring quicker than his partner and Boylan's first 16 runs only included one boundary.

However, Boylan then began to cut loose and deliver the sort of innings of which he has always looked capable. He raced from 16 to 55 very quickly and of the 39 runs, 32 came in boundaries (four sixes and two fours). Particularly impressive was his straight hitting.

Roper subsequently moved to his own well-deserved 50 and the Hardingham heads began to drop. Boylan continued his assault and Roper began to join in the mayhem, finding the boundary regularly himself.

In the last 14 overs the pair rattled along at 10 an over, and although Hardingham regularly changed bowlers, they all haemorrhaged runs.

Boylan passed his previous highest league score of 76 with another six and added another three boundaries.

A richly-deserved 100 was achieved in the 45th over with a single, to great applause from his team-mates.

Roper remained 86 not out, with his own innings containing 10 fours and one six. Winterton had amassed an impressive 239-3.

Hardingham did not appear to be daunted by their task and Harris and skipper Breame, once they had settled in, began to regularly clear the boundary themselves.

However, Tom Roper, opening the bowling in the absence of Utting, and Mark Hambrook both bowled a good line and length and did not let the batsmen take control.

Whichelow and Percival then joined the attack and both men suffered in their first couple of overs. It looked as if a tight game might ensue.

Then Breame (35) middled the ball to the mid-wicket boundary off Whichelow, only to hole out to Clarke. Harris (40) did exactly the same in the next over.

The Hardingham run rate began to slow as Whichelow and Percival throttled

the innings.

Percival, after conceding 18 runs in

his first two overs, only conceded a further 12 in his next 10 overs while taking the important wickets of Goodrum and Fowle, both of whom were caught

by Boylan.

Hardingham's required run rate rapidly grew out of reach. The returning Hambrook deservedly picked up two more wickets as a reward for his efforts with the ball, whilst Roper continued to exert a stranglehold.

The Hardingham innings petered out to 177-6 to leave Winterton comfortable victors.

Also deserving a mention was the fine wicket prepared by Dave Hambrook, despite the inclement weather.


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