Reality check for Yarmouth

AFTER the high of the season's first win last week Yarmouth were brought right back down to earth with a five-wicket defeat at the hands of bottom club Hardingham.

AFTER the high of the season's first win last week Yarmouth were brought right back down to earth with a five-wicket defeat at the hands of bottom club Hardingham.

Winning the toss, Yarmouth elected to bat first on what would prove to be a lively Beaconsfield track and may have been regretting that decision.

First Fitzsimmons was caught behind from a no-ball then put down in the slips the following ball then, at the other end, they lost captain Ruddick with only two runs on the board.

The opening bowling pairing of Howes and Finch restricted the scoring opportunities with a mixture of pace and nagging accuracy.

Fitzsimmons and Sole began to find their feet and with the first bowling change looked to take the attack to their visitors.

The pair took the score past 50 in the 20th over and had pushed it to 58 in the 24th over before Fitzsimmons (19) played on to the fourth ball of Finch's (2-16) final over.

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After 26 overs Yarmouth were becalmed on 60 with only seven runs being added in the previous six overs. Hak had joined Sole and fortunately was quickly into stride, and with Sole opening up as well the pair looked to make up the pace.

Eighty one runs were plundered from the next 11 overs as the pair accelerated towards the 150 mark. The carnage was briefly halted when Cook (1-24) bowled Hak (35) but the reprieve was short lived as Derry took up where Hak had left off. Derry raced to 22 from only four overs but then Yarmouth were rocked by a double blow.

First Sole (74) was run out by an athletic dive, roll and throw by Sparkes and then Derry was bowled by the returning Howes (1-30). With two new batsmen at the crease and only three overs remaining Yarmouth stood at 173.

Hunter (4) and R Ruddick (17) repeated their double act of the week before with Ruddick dominating the strike. He hit opener Howes back over his head for six but when he attempted a similar shot from the last ball of the innings he was stumped to give Sparkes (1-57) his only wicket.

Yarmouth closed on 194, again disappointingly within touching distance of the final batting point but a satisfying total nonetheless.

Hardingham's reply started as though the visitors were keen to get back to the mid-season barbecue as Cook and Breame set off at nearly six runs an over.

Adjustments were needed and were quickly made as Yarmouth fought their way back with three rapid wickets. Cook (25) holed out to Hunter off the bowling of White (1-43) before Vickers had Breame (21) caught behind followed by Fowle (0) caught at slip next ball.

Right back in the game and sensing another win Yarmouth pressed for the further wicket they felt would open up the visitor's tail.

Yarmouth were able to dry up the run rate but just couldn't force the much needed breakthrough as Goodrum and Hearn slowly started to take the game away.

Hearn, in particular once he was set, was particularly severe on the bowling as he raced to 41before, finally, Yarmouth were able to get their man as he skied a ball from Anguish into Hunter's waiting hands.

With 15-year-old Howes joining Goodrum Yarmouth sensed their chance but it failed to materialise. Even when Goodrum (34) became Anguish's second victim Hardingham were still able to comfortably stride past the finishing line.

With other results going against them Yarmouth returned to the foot of the table - and with their next two matches against the top two they will have to dig deep.

Burton Arms man of the match: Matthew Sole for another solid knock.