New era for Winterton CC

A NEW era for Winterton dawned on Saturday when they played their first game in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance following promotion from the Norfolk League.

After a winter of hard work by a number of players, particularly Martin Witheridge, the Hambrook Oval was ready to welcome old former Norfolk league rivals Aldborough.

On a perfect day for cricket Trevor Jones had prepared a good-looking wicket and Kevin Percival had no hesitation in electing to bat on winning the toss.

The new ball swung prodigiously early on and after 12 overs Winterton were struggling at 30-4 with Perry-Warnes and Seaman causing all the batsmen problems.

Witheridge was then joined at the wicket by debutant Ryan Edmonds and the two dug in to halt the flow of wickets. They doubled the score until Edmonds tried to launch Cramp back over the bowler’s head and was stumped for a solid 10.

At 63-5 the game was finely balanced. Witheridge, after an unusually restrained start, was starting to unfurl his trademark drives and young Fred Playford gave him valuable support and also went for his shots. In the next 12 overs they added another 52 runs until a mix-up going for a third run resulted in Witheridge being run out two short of a deserved 50.

Aldborough again sniffed an opening but Winterton’s depth of batting began to tell. Ben Utting played in his usual cavalier style. Helped by one or two fielding lapses the pair increased the scoring rate, and Utting in particular launched into the bowling.

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At 144 Playford went for another shot straight over the bowler’s head and was caught one-handed on the boundary at deep mid-on for a good 33.

Percival sensibly kept giving the strike to Utting and the pair added 54 for the eighth wicket — a new club record. Utting finished 53 not out with seven fours and a six. Percival was 12 not out and the score a solid 198-7.

Following an enjoyable tea provided by Gerry Roper in the new tearooms, the old opening pair of Utting and Larner picked up where they left off from last year with Larner being particularly frugal in his bowling.

Larner had Youngman lbw early on for seven but Cramp and Plumb started to accumulate runs and at 63 in the 16th over Aldborough had formed a good platform for a victory.

The returning Jonny Allen came into the attack and together with Larner exerted a stranglehold on the batsmen.

Cramp (27) mistimed a drive that Allen did well to catch just off the ground and the same bowler then accounted for the dangerous Allan with an almost unplayable delivery.

Plumb (25) tried to break the shackles with a hard cut at Larner but Josh Austin leapt to his left to take a brilliant one-handed catch. Spinner Danny Snowling then accounted for Cannon with his first ball, having him smartly stumped by Playford.

Watson (4) suffered a similar fate to Plumb, Witheridge the catcher. Allen threw down the stumps at the bowler’s end to run out Skinner for nought.

Winterton’s hard work in the nets during the winter had paid off and at 94-7 Aldborough called off the run chase and batted for the draw.

Although Allen secured another wicket, the game ended in a draw with Winterton securing a solid 17 points. Larner with figures of 12-4-31-3 and Allen 10-5-10-3 were the pick of the bowlers.

In all, it was a very satisfying day for the cricket club as a whole both on and off the field and the club are looking forward to the rest of the season.

Winterton: B Clarke lbw Perry-Warnes 4, J Austin b Seaman 1 G Roper c Cramp b Seaman 11, M Witheridge run out 48, J Allen c Plumb b Perry-Warnes 5, R Edmonds st Cannon b Clamp 10, F Playford c Skinner b Seaman 33, B Utting not out 53, K Percival not out 12; extras 23. Total 198-7.

Bowling: J Perry-Warnes 9-2-32-2, T Seaman 12-1-59-3, T Allan 4-0-25-0, R Smith 9-3-26-0, M Cramp 10-2-30-1, A Moakes 2-0-13-0.

Aldborough: M Cramp c-b Allen 21, A Youngman lbw Larner 7, B Plumb c Sustin b Larner 25, T Allan b Allen 2, P Watson c Witheridge b Larner 4, S Cannon st Playford b Snowling 4, M Skinner run out 10, J Perry-Warnes b Allen 11, R Smith not out 10, T Seaman not out 0; extras 24. Total 108-8.

Bowling: B Utting 7-0-31-0, R Larner 12-4-31-3, J Allen 10-5-10-3, D Snowling 8-3-13-1, K Percival 5-3-2-0, J Austin 4-3-4-0.