Martham beaten by Brooke in exciting Lady Mary Trophy final

Brooke pose for a team photograph after beating Martham to win the Lady Mary Trophy at Manor Park o

Brooke pose for a team photograph after beating Martham to win the Lady Mary Trophy at Manor Park on Sunday. Picture: David Coe. - Credit: Archant

Having secured promotion to Division Two of the Alliance the previous day, Martham travelled to the home of Norfolk cricket to play against Brooke in the Lady Mary Final.

The opposition, who play three divisions higher, won the toss, and elected to field on a green wicket.

Finn Grist and Louis Smith opened the batting and made a solid start before Grist fell for 24. Martham reached 90-1, before a mini collapse saw the exits of Smith (25), Alex Sayer (32) and two lbw decisions and reduced them to 100-4.

It was time to dig deep, and Martham have strength of purpose in abundance, as proved with Lewis Dunn (33), Simeon Randell (29) and John Allen (14 not out) helping the side get over the 200 mark, finishing on 201-5.

With the fantastic support for Martham on the edge of their seats for most of the afternoon, the Brooke innings was also up and down throughout, and no less nerve racking.

A slow start, Randell’s eight overs going for just 15 runs, saw the scoreboard ticking along slowly with the only breakthrough from Muthu Lanka’s impressive control — however despite a myriad of near edges all grasped with comfortable aplomb by Joe Oakey, and some very close lbw appeals from brother Will, the Brooke innings somehow reached 126-1.

The injured Grist was replaced by 12th man Archie Smith in the field, and something needed to change — Martham were tinkering with their bowling trying to break the Brooke grip and this duly came when Jack Whatmough took an excellent catch in the deep from Dunn’s pace.

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The mood changed, spin king Harry Chanchalani joining Dunn, and a wonderful 30 minutes saw the Brooke innings plummet to 136-6. But a brutal knock of 43 from Sam Clabburn helped to swing the game back Brooke’s way, adding 50 for the seventh wicket, and at 187-6, with just 15 runs required, victory looked out of reach again. But Dunn returned again and took three more wickets, leaving Brooke on the cusp of defeat with nine down. Sadly it was just too late and Martham slipped to a heartbreaking one wicket defeat in the 48th over. Chanchalani finished with 3-25 and Dunn a splendid 5-31.

It was a pulsating day’s cricket, proving once again that this Martham side is on the up.