Great Yarmouth’s struggle goes on

Great Yarmouth’s mid-season slump continued on Saturday with a six-wicket defeat at their bogey side Ketteringham Hall.

Yarmouth have only one previous win at the Hall and, when greeted with a damp, green pitch and slow outfield, knew that winning the toss was crucial to getting win number two.

After losing six tosses in a row, Yarmouth were due a win but the coin landed wrongly for them yet again and they were duly asked to bat first.

The innings began with a rarity as the first delivery evaded keeper Howes and struck the helmet placed behind him for five penalty runs which left umpire and scorers alike scratching their heads how to signal or record it. Yarmouth were soon dealt a blow when an under the weather Fitzsimmons was forced to retire with only 15 on the board.

Hak and Sole played patiently to move the score past the 50 mark before Sole (10) offered a return catch to Bush.

Thompson joined Hak and the pair started to push the score along. Hak completed his half-century but became the first of Walker’s three wickets shortly after.

Still, at 95-2 with over 13 overs remaining, Yarmouth had a good platform with plenty of wickets in hand. Thompson and Ruddick started the final assault well with a good combination of hitting and running that brought 28 rapid runs.

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The loss of Ruddick (14) did nothing to slow the momentum as Yarmouth pushed on to 147-3.

The return of Bradley to the attack was to change everything. The young swing bowler was wicketless in his first spell but with the fourth ball of his second spell he bowled Thompson (45). Bradley then ripped through the lower order taking in total 5-9 in three overs. Irvine (19 not out) could only watch the procession from the other end. Yarmouth closed on 167-9 which seemed competitive given the early conditions.

Yarmouth’s pace attack was not as well suited to the surface as the home side’s slow bowlers and Ketteringham Hall got off to a flyer. However Ruddick (2-54) then struck twice to remove both openers and the home side were 43-2. Bush and Smith carried on, with the former playing the sort of knock that suggested a swift trip to buy a lottery ticket was in order.

His first delivery from Shales was skied to the fielder at long on but swirling winds contributed to the catch going down. He then proceeded to edge repeatedly over, short or wide of slip as well as numerous aerial shots falling short of or just going over fielders. Eighty six runs were added for the third wicket before Smith (41) fell to Shales.

J Bush came and went for a rapid 12 but this was to be Yarmouth’s last wicket as Ketteringham Hall wrapped up a six-wicket win. Walker finished 13 not out and Bush 57 not out.

Apollo Tavern Man of the Match – Steven Hak and Mark Thompson.