Campaign ends with battling defeat

GREAT Yarmouth's campaign came to an end on Saturday with a battling defeat at Hardingham. Asked to bat first on a damp pitch Yarmouth got off to a steady start with Nicholls and S Ruddick.

GREAT Yarmouth's campaign came to an end on Saturday with a battling defeat at Hardingham.

Asked to bat first on a damp pitch Yarmouth got off to a steady start with Nicholls and S Ruddick.

Nicholls (14) was getting into his stride when he was beaten by a Burt in-swinger which removed his off stump. Sole and Ruddick kept the scoreboard ticking but tight opening bursts from Hastings and Burt stopped Yarmouth from getting away.

Cook replaced Hastings and started with a maiden whereas Howes replaced Burt and started with a 12-ball over. The young quickie just couldn't get his run-up right as he served up six no-balls, but with his last ball he dropped short and Ruddick (4) helped the ball into the waiting hands of Law at square leg.

Howes was immediately replaced by Sparks and the young spinner combined well with Cook in slowing the Yarmouth run rate.

Hak and Sole started to get things moving and as the boundaries started to come they looked to be laying the foundation of a big first innings total. The pair added 65 for the third wicket before Sparks struck twice to remove both batsmen in successive overs.

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First Sole (34) was caught at slip before Hak was caught, in slightly controversial circumstances, on the long on boundary. The ball made contact with an overhanging branch on the way down and was well held by Howes.

As Hak (31) started to make his way to the pavilion there was some disagreement as to whether it was out and Hak had to scamper back to make his ground as there were shouts to run him out. The catch was decided to be good and Yarmouth were 107-4.

Hardingham then tightened up as the new batsmen found it hard to get the ball away. Thompson (15) was caught on the boundary in the 40th over with Yarmouth on 124 and looking at a much lower total than had been predicted.

Richie Ruddick raced to 24 not out with some late big hitting to let Yarmouth close on a defendable 157-8.

Hardingham's reply started well with the opening pair watchful but severe on anything loose.

Vickers claimed the first scalp and it was the big one of the Hardingham captain Breame, trapped leg before for 14.

White struck five overs later as Fowle (14) played on and Hardingham's innings was uncannily matching Yarmouth's earlier effort.

But Hardingham were also able to muster a big third-wicket partnership as Goodrum and Howes confidently struck the ball around. Still matching the first innings, the partnership reached 66 before Richie Ruddick struck, yorking Howes (26).

Ruddick struck again two overs later removing Laws (0) and then Oxborough at the other end had Hearn (0) caught by S Ruddick.

Hardingham picked up a third duck when Ruddick removed Lind with the inning's second leg before decision and Yarmouth were right back in it at 119-6.

Yarmouth appeared to be closing in on victory when Sparks (3) picked out Vickers to give Oxborough (2-30) his second wicket, leaving the home side 34 short of victory with only three wickets left.

Goodrum was being kept off strike and could only watch the ensuing carnage but received good support from the big-hitting Cook (15) until the latter was bowled by Ruddick (4-36).

Burt (5) survived the pressure put on him and was the one to hit the winning run off the last ball of the 42nd over, Goodrum finishing 63 not out.

Burton Arms Man of the Match: Richie Ruddick 24 not out and

4-36 in a colourful all-round performance.